A funny thing happens this time of year for me.
I get angry.
A little blasé.
All this mixed in with happy and joyous and excited.
Christmas is my favorite season. The traditions, the joy, the magic….it makes me so dang happy. Always. The lights and trees and cookies. The family surrounding you and the parties to celebrate. The joy in seeing our children open gifts and learning more and more about the reason of Christmas….its just incredible.
But for the last 7 years I have mixed in that joy and magic with the others. Seven years ago our Reid was born and 4 days later…just 7 days before Christmas….My absolute favorite time of the year we had to say goodbye. It really gives a meaning to bitter sweet.
Losing a child is hard. We don’t have those years of memories to look back on…we have for us those precious 4 days….Those 4 days that we couldn’t even hold our son. Those 4 days are what we have and what we will always have. We don’t know what his voice would have sounded like, what his favorite color would have been or if he would have been wild and crazy just like his brother and sister.
Infant loss is a funny beast. It creeps up on you when you least expect it. You heal….but you heal in a way that allows you to live. Just like any great loss its always there. Always part of you. It just gets easier to smile, to laugh and to enjoy again.
Seven years later and I can tell you that the pain is still so very real. I miss him so dearly. I wonder so much what it would be like if he was part of our mix.
Seven years later although the pain is still there I can tell you that I am exactly where I want to be. Life has a funny way of always showing us the way if we allow it. I’ve said it before but because of Reid we have our Caiden. Because of Reid I have moved into a career that I am so incredibly passionate about…documenting life…documenting babies and children and loved ones. Because of Reid my heart has learned how to explode with more love then I thought was possible.
To those out there who have lost please know you have my heart and you have my ear if ever needed. I think its ok to have the mix of sad and joy all in the same season. I think its ok to feel. Feel whatever you need to feel. Because this journey is not one that is limited to a few days or weeks….its a journey that is with us for a lifetime.
So on your birthday Reid Andrew…Please know you are loved and you are missed. Happy 7th birthday sweet boy!
PS If you feel up to it…in the tradition of Reid and Christmas spread a little love today with a act of kindness….Can be a donation to your favorite charity or simply holding the door for someone….Spread love and cheer and joy!
You can read from years past here, here and here. Also, if you are have recently lost and are looking for some guidance H.E.A.L. was one of the best decisions we made to attended. It’s a free course and it just helped us to work through and understand our rollercoaster of emotions that is infant loss.