Monday, December 21, 2009

Grieving through the Holidays

My friend (and very talented artist), Amy, made this butterfly print from Sophia's last handprints. It reminds me that Sophia is still with us , even if not in the way we would like.

Grieving during the holidays is tough. Watching others around you enjoy and celebrate their families and happy lives seems to throw into relief the hole that's in my own life. I've tried ignoring the hole, hiding the hole, filling the hole with other people or things, but these attempts have only made the hole that much deeper. I think I'm beginning to understand that I just have to learn to live with this new hole. I'm learning to appreciate it as a reminder of how deep my love is for my daughter.

I've heard the quote "Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. Well, I did just that... and I lost my heart, but my heart also grew.

It grew from knowing the love of a daughter.

It grew through becoming a Mom.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sweet and Salt During the Holidays

Robert Frost ( from “To Earthward”):

“...Now, no joy but lacks salt
That is not dashed with pain
And weariness and fault;
I crave the stain
Of tears, the aftermark
Of almost too much love,
The sweet of bitter bark
And burning clove...”

I'm thankful for the blessing of getting to carry Sophia for 9 months and getting to hold her for 4 more months. During the holiday season, it is hard not to be bitter about my loss, but I keep reminding myself that the loss of Sophia hurts so badly b/c I loved her so deeply. I am blessed to have experienced that love.

Like Robert Frost was trying to tell us, we have to take the salt with the sweet.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

All I Want for Christmas... is You

I don't want a lot for Christmas
There's just one thing I need I don't care about the presents Underneath the Christmas tree I just want you for my own More than you could ever know Make my wish come true All I want for Christmas is... You

I won't ask for much this Christmas I don't even wish for snow I'm just gonna keep on waiting Underneath the mistletoe I won't make a list and send it To the North Pole for Saint Nick I won't even stay awake to Hear those magic reindeers click 'Cause I just want you here tonight Holding on to me so tight What more can I do
Baby all I want for Christmas is you

All the lights are shining So brightly everywhere And the sound of children's Laughter fills the air And everyone is singing I hear those sleigh bells ringing Santa won't you bring me the one I really need
Won't you please bring my baby to me...

Oh I don't want a lot for Christmas This is all I'm asking for
I just want to see my baby
Standing right outside my door Oh I just want you for my own More than you could ever know Make my wish come true Baby all I want for Christmas is... You

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Special Handling Please

Special Handling Please

I was handed a package the other day.
It was wrapped securely
to be mailed away
Attached to the outside as plain as could be
Was a simple note for all to see.
Please rush through the holiday season;
Too painful to open for any reason.
Contained within, find one broken heart-
Fragile, broken, falling apart.
Tried to go shopping the other day;
The hype of the season blew me away.
Sat down to write cards,
That was insane.
Couldn’t find the list
Or think of my name.
People say,
“Come over, be of good cheer.”
“Celebrate the holidays,
Prepare a New Year.”
But my grief overwhelms me
Like waves in the sea.
Can they cope with my crying,
an unsettled me?
I don’t have any holiday cheer.
Decorations, traditions, big family meal
I can’t do this year.
Do you know how I feel?
Guilty and frustrated!
I’ve let everyone down!
Our holiday celebrations
used to be the best in town.
So just ship me away
Address unknown
When my grief is better
I might fly home.

Mary J. Pinkava of Bereaved Parents