Merry Christmas! (Sharing an updated post from last year)
For some it will fall way short of “Merry” this year but it will still be Christmas nonetheless. No doubt Christmas has changed since Lydia died. The excitement, fun, anticipation waned as the first holiday came around without her. Taking my son to see Santa proved to be a traumatic experience that I never wanted to do again. Like most parents, proudly snapping pictures of their children grinning with excitement while sitting on Santa’s lap, all I could see was the picture of my children together, the last Christmas she was here while my memory filled with regrets.
That next year, seeing Santa and the coming of Christmas was horrifying…But what does a mother do? She somehow endures the pain, a facade, while trying to put a smile on her only child’s face. Seeing only my son with Santa crumbled me and brought me to my knees. How I hated life, hated myself. The Santa photos used to be my traditional Christmas card, and now, I haven’t sent out a Christmas card since. I became bitter towards those family photo cards, you know, the ones with all the smiles and happy wishes… For the two years when we received them from “friends” in the mail, after opening the first, one by one they all went straight to the garbage, sight unseen. It became too painful and slapped me in the face, bringing to the forefront that pain I had worked so hard to hide.
Yet, over the years I can see God’s grace has given me a new start. I’ve learned that it’s not about me or my children…It’s about Jesus…the most precious gift of all..You see, only through him, do we have hope of a better tomorrow and spending eternity with our loved ones. The pain of loss, yet so intense, is just a sliver of a moment in time, as our eternal home has no end.
As I approach our seventh Christmas without Lydia, tears are still shed and my heart remains scarred. I miss her with every grain of my being, yet I look forward to experiencing the joy and wonder of the season with my other children. As we wake up Christmas morning and the children hurry to see what Santa has laid beneath the tree, I imagine Lydia being here with her brothers and sister celebrating in delight. Wiping the tears, feeling her physical absence saddens my heart, but knowing that we will be reunited someday gives me hope. For now, we are celebrating together this gift that He has bestowed upon us all. God’s love for us is amazing! For this, I give thanks.
So remember those who are new in their grief, navigating those unchartered waters this season and celebrate Jesus and the gift of eternal life this Christmas. It is definitely something to be Merry about!
Book Giveaway Update.
Congrats to winner Janet Wolken- Please contact me.