Sunday, January 4, 2015

Reflections on Christmas 2014 and A New Year Without You

Christmas has come and gone. It was frenzied this year. Chaotic and rushed. Your brothers enjoyed every minute of it, but it exhausted me. I longed for moments of quiet contemplation that were not to be found. I resolve to start earlier next year and to be more mindful of the important things.

Within the chaos were moments of beauty, and certainly moments of remembering you. There were flowers in your stocking, and a new photo framed for our mantle, remembering you. We took your flowers to the beach and tossed them on the outgoing tide. We donated gifts in your memory and I made an ornament for another family who lost a baby. You were on our minds, if not present with us in person. These rituals of including you are some of the most important of the holiday for me. How I wish I was wrapping your presents instead.

Here is the beautiful picture from Carly Marie we had framed:

And here is your stocking:

My grief was less crippling this Christmas, less at the surface. Tears came as I left the house for Christmas dinner. Presents opened and things packed and everyone else in the car and I was alone in the house for a few seconds. It was then that I was overtaken by grief and then that tears came. This is how it seems to be now, my grief needs the quiet to sneak in. I wrote a poem about it this summer:

A Perfect Moment

All of these moments without you
so often, now, are tolerable.
Two years after your death
the song in my head chanting
about your loss is quieter.
Tears don't come every day,
but they seem to come
strongest, in wrenching torrents,
immediately after a moment
of peace,
a perfect moment.
Walking across a meadow,
taking in a late summer morning.
One of your brothers is sleeping,
one is off catching crabs,
your Dad is sweeping the kitchen floor.
And I remember
two years ago.
I was wearing this same shirt,
you were rocking in my growing belly.
I thought we had it all.
And suddenly, this perfect moment
breaks apart.
And I have nothing.

And that's how it is these days. I have so much, I am so grateful for the joy. But then I remember that you should be here, and it shatters to pieces.

This is a bleak post to start the new year on, but it is where I am at. I am weary, spent. I am mystified that this year you will be three years gone from us. I feel distant from my early pain, and yet at times I also find myself back in its clutches. I miss you, I miss you, I miss you.

Love to all my babylost friends as you embark upon this new year and continue to reinvent your lives without your dear children beside you. It takes a lot of strength and grace and patience to persevere. I wish you many moments of peace and joy in the year ahead. You deserve them all. You deserve much more. XO


  1. Yes, that is how it is for me, too, except for right now, in January, when everything feels impossible. But normally, yes, it slips in where it can, she slips in where she can, in the quiet moments. Thank you for sharing your beautiful words.

  2. Just wanted you to know I read your beautiful words and that Chiara was thought about and remembered by another bereaved mama. Thank you for your sweet words on the new year...

  3. March is for Daffodils, I'm thinking of you during these difficult days. Thinking of your sweet girl and her family who misses her. Wishing you pace and so grateful for your kind words and this shared space.

    Gretchen, thank you for your nice note and for remembering Chiara. It means so much. I am also thinking of you and our family this week, of your dear boys, all of them, but especially Z.

    Lots of love and strength to both of you. XO