The Holidays are not for me


I have been thinking a lot about the holidays this week.

And something hit me. Hard.

I realized that the Holidays are about people younger in age, before they have gone through loss. Newlyweds. That first dinner with both families. How fun right?

Kids of course. It’s a magical time for them. Innocence.

Innocence goes well with the Christmas trees.

I do remember a time when I looked forward to the Holidays.

It was all about the gifts, time off, sleeping in. Movies. Candy.

I loved it so much.

And then in 1998 three days before Christmas just like today I went into labor for 12 hours.

My first significant loss took place 3 days before Christmas.

My first daughter was born but she did not make it.

I never talk about this not because I don’t want to but because a lot of my grief then was so hurried.

We travelled to Denmark to spend the Holidays with my husband’s family and his sister was very pregnant at the time.

While everyone was singing carols around the Christmas tree, I was physically, emotionally and mentally gone. Every time I turned around the sister who was pregnant with her 4th child was right there.

His family was not very good at talking about loss either.

So I sat around the dinner table and sang with them too.

Such a heartbreaking experience.

I was not planning on writing about this today but as I started typing it all came out.

And just a few moments ago I realized the date as well. It was today.

This letter is especially meant for all the women and men who lost pregnancies, babies and children and now have to face the extremely festive holiday season.

That year was my first Christmas when I lost my innocence.

I was only 26 years old.

When I turned 30 the diagnosis of his cancer took place.

Christmas was a reminder of all the things we were going to lose.

Then I had 4 years worth of Christmas memories of sickness and hospital stays.

In 2005 we spent Christmas and New Years in the hospital.

Then the holidays after he passed. Brutal.

And now. Well. Life is better.

But the Holidays are not for me.

They are for the newlyweds, the kids and the lucky ones who don’t get to experience grief until very late in life.

I am not bitter. I am just honest.

This week I have been tired. Stressed. And not really into the spirit of Christmas.

I want to be. I really do.

But I realized that it’s ok not to be.

Grief did steal Christmas from me in 1998 and never really gave it back.

And I am ok with that. As a matter of fact more than OK.

I enjoy my life now throughout the year as you all know, the holidays is just a bleep as far as I am concerned.

A bleep in the timeline of the whole year.

There is one thing I enjoy a lot is my two girls being off school so I get to hang with them. Watch movies under the blankets. Hike trails. Go shopping. Laugh. Time with them.

That’s all it is.

And for those who love the Christmas time I am happy for them.

I do sometimes love it too.

I do feel good sometimes during the holidays, it’s not that I don’t.

I just prefer the rest of the year, especially the summer time.

So my advice today is to go hang with your people.

Try to see it as time with the people you love and are still with you. (click to tweet)

And if you don’t have any family close by I hope you have pets. Go be with them.

I like to always strike a balance of the good in our life and the not so good.

I am after all human like you.

And I am actually the worst griever.

This is why I work so hard at doing this work. Its for me.

For all the losses I have gone through.

For all the people who are going through them now.

For our humanity to rise above sadness.

Every person that we know will lose someone they love.

And because of that this weekly letter exists.

 

Happy hang out with your loved ones,

Christina

Comments

  1. Oh Christina. I totally get it! But mine is Easter. My love died the day after Easter in 2014. It is SO hard. Yet as you are doing it, you keep moving forward well. Thank you for speaking for the ones that can’t figure it out in words yet. I don’t want to do Christmas this year either. We’ll sing happy birthday to Jesus, have the house a little decorated. But that’s it. Keeping it super low key. I am letting myself miss my man, the papa of my three kids. One day at a time. Life is great,waiting to hug again in Heaven is HARD!!!!
    Till we all meet again …
    Lots of love to you and your ladies.
    ❤ Fiona and her three.

  2. Christina, such honesty and truth. The holidays are not for me either. And yes, the lights, colors, gifts, the enchantment and magic of it all…..for the innocent souls who have not been changed by grief. Much love to you, dear one. Thank you for always speaking the truth and for being real. Much love to you. T~

  3. Thank you for sharing your inter thoughts and of the losses you have experienced . You do make a difference to all of us ! I love and appreciate your honest and so glad you understand how we feel ! That we are not alone in the lack of the holiday spirit! This “club” we are a part of is not by choice but we have to deal with it – get through it! You have made sure we are not alone in our feelings ! Thank you is not enough ! You too need to know you are not alone !!! We are here feeling what you feel – we understand ! Hugs to you !

  4. One more time yours words are so right !!
    Merci beaucoup pour votre assiduité à nous faire partager vos questionnements et vos etats d ame si proches des notres…

  5. I agree with you – holidays are HARD. Our family has just been through an entire year of grieving for my husband, daddy of three and Poppie of 10! Grief has done a lot to our family. At times, more often than not, grief has indeed stolen our joy. My husband was sick for 8 weeks. 2017 is the year that I take back my JOY from grief! Grief doesn’t deserve what it has done to our family. I would list all that has happened in our close family this past year, but it would be hard to believe. I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a wonderful beginning, middle and end of 2017. I am ready to tell 2016 “GOOD BYE!”

  6. I lost my Daughter November 1984 after labour, I went through the same as you, lots of female pregnant relatives around. I just lost my Mum on my birthday Sept 24th and I have to admit I am in that gap of a place before and after loss. I have sent no cards, put up no tree, bought no presents, I am just going through the motions wanting to feel again but dreading the time when I do because it hurts, really hurts!

  7. Its been 10 years since I lost my younger sister to Cancer. And holidays and festivals have never been the same for me. For the first few years I was bitter about how could the world be so happy when we had lost a young life. I was angry and sad and so pulled down by grief that the world seemed miserable. After I got married and two kids later, I do try and celebrate but it has never been the same. A decade down and I am still grieving for her.

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Christina Rasmussen

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