It’s been nine long months since I said hello and goodbye to Elliot.
It’s been nine long months since I last heard her heartbeat.
It’s been nine long months since I thought I was bringing home my healthy, full term baby.
I’ve had nine months to prepare for today, my first Christmas without my daughter. I’ve been trying to figure out what Christmas means to me now – as a mother, a bereaved mother, and a Still Mother. I honestly don’t know. My life has turned into an intense combination of sorrow, joy, fear, and hope.
I often wonder if people think it’s strange that I use the word “joy” when describing my life, especially around the holidays. I’m confused by it at times. The sorrow, fear, and even hope all make sense. But joy? How could a mother feel joy when her only child passed away before birth? Joy lives in my heart because that’s where Elliot is.
She brings joy to my life. Even though I can’t see or touch her, I know she’s with me. I feel her beautiful spirit all around me. She lives on in my heart. Don’t get me wrong; life as a loss mother is excruciatingly difficult. I will never pretend to be the old me; that person is long gone. But I have learned that it’s okay to be happy again. It’s also okay to be sad and to embrace the sorrow on the days when all I can do is cry. Today, I will embrace the sorrow because Elliot isn’t in my arms, to put it as simply as possible. I will also embrace the joy because she is my daughter. I love her so much, and I feel so blessed that we were, and are, a part of each other’s lives.
I never would have thought this is how I’d spend my “first” Christmas as a mother. But here it is – our lives and love intertwined between heaven and earth. Today, I will celebrate Elliot and the love her daddy and I share with her.
To all the loss mothers out there, it’s okay to do whatever you need to in order to get through the day. Hang up a stocking, wrap a gift and put it under the tree, or hang an ornament on the tree. Whatever you want to do for you baby, please do it. If you feel like staying in bed all day and hiding from the world, that’s okay too. If you want to get in your car and just drive, go for it. Do what feels right. Just know that you are not alone. We will remember and celebrate your child with you.
I’m sharing a picture of Elliot and me from Christmas 2014 (my real first Christmas as a mother). It’s one of the few photos I have of the two of us together on Christmas morning.
Merry Christmas to my darling, my love, my Elliot. Mommy and daddy love and miss you so much!
Shared on December 25, 2015