We have a lot to be sad about this year. We have two more losses (failed adoptions) this year to add to the slate of things that make the holidays hard. It’s hard enough to walk through the holidays imagining the two precious babies we lost in pregnancy, reflecting on how old they would be this year, and the oh so many ways they would have lifted up our Christmas spirits. But now this year we add to those thoughts the inevitable second anniversary of losing Connor and also now dream about the two sweet little boys that came to us through the adoption process but are now preparing to celebrate their very first Christmas with their own moms. Throw all of this on top of the waiting, the impossible waiting, for another child to come into our lives. It is hard not to go there…not to grieve each of these little ones and their own separate loss in our life…not to get caught up in the “oh how different things would be” if only just one of these losses would not have been, would not have a been a loss but instead an addition to our family. And it’s hard not to given in to the overwhelming feelings of suffocation as we are entangled in a wait harder than we ever imagined. It is hard, really hard not to go there, not to go to my deep dark place, not to sulk in misery, throw up my hands and scream a giant…BAH, HUMBUG!
But “bah, humbug” doesn’t get you anywhere either…well, maybe on a little trip to your past, present and future…And in reality there is no need to go back and I trust enough not to look forward, so instead, I squelch the urge to go “there”. I bite my tongue when the bitterness is at the tip and I remember that although there are many reasons to be sad, to be grieving, to want to “bah, humbug” everything Christmas, I refuse to let myself go there. I refuse to slip away from the holidays this year. I refuse to let grief be my priority while my family stands in the background. I commit to the present.
Easier said than done? Maybe. But I am the only one who gets to decide where I will focus my energies this year. I see that I have a choice between grief/sadness and my family. Only one can win this year and it is not going to be grief/sadness. Grief and sadness are about my known past and my unknown future. My present holds no sadness, no grief. My present holds my family at the forefront…they need me and we all need Christmas. I will do everything it takes.
Tomorrow we will begin to fill our house with everything Christmas. We will begin our celebration of a holiday that is filled with tradition, love, surprises, and family along with continued thanks and gratitude for all of the things that truly make this season beautiful. Our celebrating will last all month long and we will make memories that we all, hopefully and especially Addison, will take with us through the years.
I will check my grief, my sadness into Scroogeville and I will free myself from the burden of loss. I will let the magic of the season seep into my soul so that my daughter sees that I am here…here and present, here and feeling. With everything I have left in me I will believe. I will believe in myself, believe in my family, believe in my future and believe in the possibility of a very, very Merry Christmas.