As November leaves and ushers in December, our list of things to do gets longer, and before we know it, we are in the whirlwind of the holidays. Christmas lists, dinner invitations, parties, cookies, and concerts fill our days with what is supposed to be "The most wonderful time of the year". Losing a child changes all that. Decorating the Christmas tree used to be an event to look forward to...now it's a sign of the tornado to come. A rush of emotions ranging from joy to anxiety to sadness are all mixed in with carols and the jingle of the Salvation Army bell.
Mustering up the courage to attend that office party or family dinner with your pregnant cousin is now as difficult as hanging lights from the roof with an unstable ladder...any second you may fall. These feelings are all normal, and as the snow comes and goes you'll not only survive, you'll find a way to dig out of it. New traditions emerge, and if this year you put up the tree and next year you don't, it's ok. We've all had those times, those memories, and those moments.
December is a time to reflect on those moments, to look back on how far we've come. Perhaps this year you stay in bed, protecting your heart. Perhaps this year you finally feel strong enough to hang up those stockings. Perhaps this year, you reach out and help a newly bereaved friend weather the holiday storm. Give yourself permission to do what feels right. And on December 31st as the ball drops, we will all look forward to the hope of a fresh start and a fresh year to do something new!