At church yesterday we were asked to turn to the person next to us and ask, "How are you feeling about Christmas?" A lady I don't know asked me and all I could say was "mixed" before letting her wax lyrical about how she loved Christmas and how excited she was. I smiled and nodded as I remembered feeling that way. She asked me why I felt mixed and I told her that I would be spending it with family, which will be lovely, but there will be one missing. Then I was saved by the bell, so to speak.
At this time of year I find myself drifting back to SANDS. I am not entirely sure why. I don't feel the need to post anything myself, I am not looking for support or empathy, but I find myself thinking of all the newly bereaved parents. Those facing their first Christmas without their precious baby. I read a few of their posts and I desperately want to reach out and comfort them, to tell them that they won't feel this raw pain forever, that it does get easier. But I also remember how empty "it gets better"
reassurances sounded to me that first year. I also now know that it does not, infact get"better" as such, just easier to bear. I now know that the only way past the pain is through it. I know these new parents want to press fast forward, I also know that they can't. So I find myself doing the completely useless action of saying nothing, but crying a little- for their baby or mine I am not even sure.
This year will be a little different in my family's house. It is my nephew's first Christmas, so there will be much joy and excitement on my husband's side of the family. I'm already packing the armour around my heart. I love my nephew and will enjoy spending time with him. But I already know that watching his parents open his gifts will bring me pain on a few levels. Remembering how different Bertie's first Christmas was to my nephew's. Seeing what we missed out on. Jealousy over their joy whilst we still wait for our rainbow... But also love, joy for them and the pleasure of Christmas being about a child in the family again, even if that child is not mine. Just one more challenge. I am grateful it has come this year, when I am strong enough to face it with grace.
Today is Bertie's due date. It is a date I place no conscious importance on at all, and yet somehow every year it jumps out and taunts me. Pokes it's tongue out in a haha! you didn't see that coming did you? kind of way. It's all just part of the what could have been. And instead of getting an excitable just-turned-three year old ready for the day. I am typing this blog over breakfast before heading off to work. Kinda sucks doesn't it?