Today I woke up and looked out the window to see beautiful snowflakes rapidly accumulating in my yard. My first thought was, “This is Jonah’s first snowfall.” I immediately got dressed and went out to the cemetery to find my sweet boy covered in nature’s white blanket. After I left the cemetery, I went home and cried.
It may sound strange to some, but the snowfall really signified the beginning of the holiday season. Let’s face it, you can’t escape the fact that Christmas is all about children. Whether it’s the newborn baby Jesus or the pure happiness of a child opening a present on Christmas morning. It’s all about children and this Christmas, it will be all about how I don’t have one.
So I wrote a letter to my family about the upcoming holiday season…
Dear Family and Friends:
Thank you for not expecting too much from me this holiday season. My pain continues and missing Jonah is overwhelming. The absence of him when the whole family gathers seems to accentuate our incomplete family. We are faced with the “spirit” of the holidays on television, radio, social media, and stores. We will need the patience and understanding of our friends and family to help us endure the holidays as best we can.
Our family traditions may be too difficult for us to continue this year. We may need to change the way we spend our holiday. Please understand this and hopefully some time in the future we will have these traditions again. Right now, though, we don’t know what the future holds. Whatever our thoughts are for coping with the day, please take our feelings into consideration when you make your plans.
Please allow us to talk about our child, if we feel a need. Perhaps the single most helpful thing you can do for us is to include our child in the holidays. We want to hear Jonah’s name, to have you recall fond memories, to light a memory candle, to know that you, too, are feeling the absence and remembering our child with love.
As we journey through grief, we will need your patience and support, especially during these holiday times and the “special” days throughout the year.
Thank you for not expecting too much from us this holiday season.