I’ve always accepted, but never fully understood, when people say they hate the holidays. The holiday season can be difficult for many people for many reasons but for most it is a time for gathering, celebration, and love. What happens when your heart isn’t in the moment though?
The beginning of September started forming the dark cloud over the end of 2018 for me but discovering that my daughter had died in October turned it completely black. My favorite holiday has always been Halloween. I loved the spooky feeling in the air during the month of October. I looked forward to decorating every year. I would binge watch scary movies all month. I even got married on Halloween because I loved it so much, but this year was different. My second anniversary was not a good one and I didn’t look forward to taking my boys out trick or treating.
I thought that things might improve as time went on but as holidays get closer and eventually pass, I feel bitter. I see friends and loved ones announcing pregnancies, posting ultrasound photos, or having their babies and all I can think is “I should still be pregnant.”
I should have spent Halloween in an adorable bump-centric costume and feeling excited and wondering what I would dress my daughter up as next year for her first Halloween. Instead, I sulked, stomped, and pouted around the neighborhood until I called it quits and went home, leaving my husband and the kids to their devices.
As November begins and the internet is filled with Christmas memes, I just want to sleep. I want to sleep until her due date has come and gone. I don’t want to go to family homes for holiday celebrations. I don’t want to celebrate. I want to be allowed to be sad and grieve knowing that my boys will never celebrate a Christmas with their little sister or get to teach her how to say, “Trick or treat!”
I envy people who can celebrate the holiday season with love and joy in their hearts. I hope that someday I can be present with my family for get-togethers again, but I know that won’t happen this year. I can’t help but think about what could have been and never will be.
Grief strikes us all during our lifetime and none of us process it the same way but what we can all do is be there for the people way acre about. Accept that they’re unhappy even if you don’t understand the reasoning behind it because they need you even if they don’t ask for help.