Grief on Christmas Day: 5 Ways to Cope

Grief on Christmas Day: 5 Ways to Cope

First of all: Merry Christmas! However, maybe “Bah, humbug,” may be more appropriate. Grief is hard in the holiday season – and Christmas day may be a nagging reminder of who you have lost. For me, Christmas time is a reminder that my second child, Zachary, was supposed to be a Christmas baby. His original due date was just a few days before Christmas. Around this time, about eight years ago when I was early in my pregnancy with Zach, I remember wondering: Will I be late and deliver a baby on Christmas eve or day? I wasn’t sure if I wanted to avoid or aim for those dates. Will my son one day complain he doesn’t get enough presents because his birthday is so close to Christmas? Will the roads be slippery and I have to deliver in the...

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6 Holiday Memory Making Ideas for Bereaved Parents

6 Holiday Memory Making Ideas for Bereaved Parents

  If your heart has been broken by the loss of a child in miscarriage, stillbirth or any time after delivery, the holidays may be tough. It’s a season that emphasizes children, family and togetherness. All the things bereaved parents yearn for.     When a baby dies, no matter what the age of the fetus or the child may have been, parents are left shaken, shattered and searching for hope. When my son, Zachary, passed away in my arms just moments after entering the world, I felt like my heart was torn in two. Even though those moments I had with him were heartbreaking, I also treasured each and every one. Nothing, I discovered, could part a mom and dad from the love they have for their child.   What I didn’t learn until later, however, was that...

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Never Alone

Never Alone

Kids say the most profound things. Yesterday, Christmas Day 2015, my daughter Hannah startled me with a comment. Our family was driving to visit my parents and en route we were discussing the fact that not everyone has someone to spend the holidays with. Christmas is not an easy time of year for everyone. From the backseat Hannah said, “Mommy, you are never alone – you have baby with you all the time.” She was talking about my second Rainbow Baby, the child I am 37 weeks anxiously expecting. Then Hannah continued: “And Zachary is always with you too!” This realization made me smile. My first son, my baby that I miss dearly; he is always with me. Zachary is never far from my thoughts. My love for him never wanes. I am never...

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Has the way you celebrate your deceased child changed over time?

Has the way you celebrate your deceased child changed over time?

Four and a half years have passed since Zachary died. I am a different person now than I once was – and so too has my family changed since our loss. We have grown – not only in number as we welcomed Eden two years ago, but we are also growing-up as our kids’ age and my husband and I pursue education and careers. In many ways I feel my grief and my need for acts of remembrance for Zachary have changed as well. Sometimes these feelings of change make me uncomfortable. Take Christmas for example. I want to remember that Zachary’s original due date was a few days before Christmas and I want to think about him as I spend time with my family over the holidays – but I don’t want to slip into the sadness of my loss amidst the happy times – not anymore. I once went...

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New Year’s Resolutions for the New Normal

New Year’s Resolutions for the New Normal

Resolutions are tough. We envision the perfect version of ourselves and set goals of how to morph into that person. While others resolve never to make a New Year’s resolution because they know that they will most definitely break it. I happen to like resolutions. Goals fuel me. Having a purpose becomes a motivating factor for me in moving forward with my life. Some of the things I have learned about this ‘new normal,’ this life after the death of a child, in terms of making New Year’s resolutions include: Life is unpredictable and no matter our plans, we may head in an unanticipated direction. Being adaptable, flexible, and open are character traits that will serve us well. It is still better to hope and believe and make plans knowing that they may get changed or...

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