Skipping Christmas?

I’m going to be sharing articles and resources that I have found helpful or which speak to my heart. Today, I read an article in Still Standing Magazine that is one which really reached me. I’m having trouble reproducing articles using my iPad mini, so until I get to my laptop, here is the link:

This magazine seems to be directed mainly at pregnancy loss, stillbirth, and infant loss. My son was 22, but all mothers feel the same pain and longing for their child, no matter what the age. I get what the author is saying about skipping Christmas. I really get it. I feel like that about many holidays, but Christmas is one that is particularly hard because we want our family with us.

I love Christmas. I love the reason we celebrate Christmas most of all. If not for the birth of Jesus Christ, I would have no hope. None. I would never see my son, my father, grandparents, close friends, etc. again. My father died at the very young age of 54 on December 18, 1986. I have been sad at Christmas time since then, because my father loved Christmas. He enjoyed it like a child does. When my son was born, after a very difficult, high risk pregnancy (something I will share another time), I started to enjoy Christmas more, but continued to be sad that my Daddy was not there to enjoy it with us. Many years later, I was divorced and started having to spend at least a portion of Christmas by myself. As my son reached college age and spent very little time at home, I stopped decorating except for a few lights and the mantle.

If you knew me, you would think I go all out with Christmas decorations. I used to do that. I spend hours, weeks, even months making decorations, making bows, making and decorating wreaths and garlands. I make handmade gifts such as jewelry. I crochet things I have no use for. But none of it goes up in my house. I sell it or give it away.

After my son died last year, I was certain that I would not celebrate Christmas. I have no other children. I have no grandchildren. I will never have grandchildren. There are no little nieces and nephews, so, I thought “what’s the point”?

Then, I found myself in a surreal situation. A man that I had dated just a couple of months was verbally and emotionally abusive. I had to get the sheriff to remove him from my property. I didn’t know until shortly before I tried to break things off that he was a convicted stalker on probation. Then, he became MY stalker. I left my house on December 19, 2012 and did not return until January 3, 2013. I was in fear for my life. I spent the majority of that time with my sister and her family two hours away from where I live.

We celebrated Christmas. I was not given a choice. My sister’s house was decorated, my nieces and my sister were in full shopping mode. They dragged me along with them until presents were bought and wrapped, food was prepared, and suddenly, it was Christmas morning. I was a little sad, but I was okay. Sitting there in front of the brightly lit tree, which was almost hidden by a mountain of presents, with my mother, sister, brother-in-law and nieces, I was thankful for the family God gave me. I was thankful for the years I had with my son. And, THAT is what is important about Christmas!

So, this year, I am trying to keep an open mind about Christmas. Maybe I’ll go to my sister’s. Maybe, I’ll stay home and have breakfast with my mother. Whatever I do, I will celebrate the reason for Christmas and be thankful for it because I will see Donald again one day.

Merry Christmas!

2 thoughts on “Skipping Christmas?

  1. Katherine, my father died on Dec 29th, the day after my birthday, in 1987. He was 61. We did not have a close relationship like you had with your father but the loss was still felt because I had never lost a parent until that time. Even with all his failings as a parent and husband, he was a Christian. I know that in God’s grace and mercy, he will be one of those who awaits in Heaven for me.

    Our Hope was born on Christmas and we WILL see our loved ones…our sons again. For right now, we are enduring the trials of sadness and suffering in a worldly existence. I am so glad you do have family. I pray you will feel the love and warmth of Christ and the spirit of your son all around. Our Christmases have been made even more special because of our losses. God bless you.

    1. Thank you, Dale. Yes, knowing I will see them again is a blessing. If I didn’t believe that, I’m not sure if I would have the desire to go on.

      I went to the cemetery today with decorations for Daddy and Donald’s graves. It was okay. I wasn’t upset. The day is beautiful, sunny but cool.

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