Earlier this week, I asked a question on my Facebook and Instagram about ideas of how to cope through the holidays. I was blown away by your creative ideas and responses, and I realized that there is no way that I personally could do justice to the topic in a post without sharing your words.
Read the ideas below and comment with more. This is the beauty of standing together through the heartache.
- “Like the rest of the year, I look for my baby girl in things of beauty. There are perhaps even more this time of year…trees and ornaments and candles. I’ve also found it important to take some time out, just for my wee family of 4, to remember the one who’s not here in our arms.” – Jess McCormack
- “In the first year after our son died I was in counseling and she made me write a list of things that brought me rest and joy. And that first Christmas I scheduled in something daily that brought me joy- which was often reading, writing, and time outside. This is my 7th Christmas, but I am still careful to schedule time for me. I also decrease traditions- no holiday parties and no Christmas cards for me, less gifts and more experiences. If it brings me stress it’s not worth doing. My living kids are 4 & 6 and now I am blessed to see Christmas through their eyes. They set the Christmas agenda now and it is often things like driving around looking at Christmas lights in pajamas and decorating a premade Publix gingerbread house.” – Rebecca Tillman
- “I smash ornaments in my garage, then I create something beautiful out of the mess. Such is life after loss.” – Ginny Limer of www.scaredsidless.com
- “We light a special candle for Beau. It’s been 22 years.” – Tracy King
- “We lost our son in 2013. I think the best thing we do is to make sure we include him…we make an ornament for him each year, we talk about him and use one of his stuffed animals in our Christmas card. We make sure that he is there and not forgotten. Sometimes that makes people uncomfortable. But that’s ok. Because we will never be comfortable with his death either.”- Amy Dergerstrom
- “We donate to Ronald McDonald House and the Comer Children’s Hospital NICU in Matthew and Caleb’s memory. Also, I spend a great deal of time singing praise to God. I know that my sweet boys are in Heaven. I know my Heavenly Father is holding my babies until momma can again one day.” – Margaret Obermeyer
- “In any of our holiday traditions we always find some way to include our daughter that passed. Whether it’s ornaments on the tree, or her favorite dish at the Christmas table, we try to always have a piece of her memory with us at Christmas time and all the other holidays. We talk about why these little things are important to our family so that our other children always remember also.” – Melanie McCann
- “We have a candle with Josh’s likeness on it (with a oil insert so the image never gets harmed). We light that and place it on the holiday table each holiday. We also go to a remembrance ceremony in our area that is filled with healing poetry, harp music and a photo slideshow of lost children. It helps us include Josh at the holidays. We also make donations in his memory.”- Kristen Rojas
- “We light a special candle for our sweet Isaac. We also take family picture holding his picture. We donate toys to children’s hospital in honor of our sweet angel. We go to the cemetery and place a Isaac Christmas tree on his marker. When we pray we with our 3 little boys we thank Jesus for our special angel.” – Asha George
- “Having a special wreath made in his nursery colors for his grave. Adopting a family at Mott for Christmas. Getting ornaments that represent him. Decorating our tree in his nursery colors.” – Brooke Borton
- “For me – I hang stockings for all of my littles, and one for our son who is no longer with us, just a little smaller and higher than theirs. Like, an acknowledgement that he isn’t here and we do not need to put things in his stocking, but he happened and is forever a part of our family. We have an ornament with his name on it as well. I think that is the cry of my heart during the holidays “he happened, he happened, he happened”. I want to talk about him and somehow include him because he is such an important part of the fabric of our family!” – Wendi McCallum
- “We have a few special ornaments that adorn our tree. Also, I find something charitable each year to give to in honor of my daughter- gifts for a veteran, once gave to a family that lost their home to a fire, gave $ to a mom battling cancer so she could give her kids Christmas, etc… It’s my way of using my loss as a way to reach out and help others. “Our precious babies have not died in vain if our love for them inspires us to do good for others.”” – Angie Kreger
- “Make a plan, and you don’t always need to follow through.” – Lynsey Berwick
- “We adopt an angel that is the same age as she would have been, and we still hang her stocking. Santa delivers her flowers with the other gifts he brings for the boys, and we all take them to her grave and visit.” – Elizabeth Alford
- “We will ask family and friends to join us in writing notes to him to put in his stocking (my nieces will draw pictures to put in it, too).” – Jessica Fulford
- “This is my first Christmas without Georgia. I have a Georgia Tree that I have asked others to find ornaments that remind them of her, for whatever reason. It’s been so wonderful to have a way for people to continue to show they are still thinking of her, 7 months out from her death. People often struggle with what to do or how to show they’re thinking of you and your child, especially during the holidays I think when words just fail. So this has given them a tangible way to show that, and I feel so fulfilled with support when I look at her tree and all the tokens of love and remembrance. It’s helped me be more “into” the season by making this special thing just for her.” – Rachel Linwood
- “I don’t push myself too hard. If I feel like getting a tree one day, then we do it. Our son Monroe was born in November and passed in January and spent the whole time in the hospital, so this is my dark part of the year, but it also makes me feel close to him. Try to focus on the sweet side of bittersweet whenever I can.” – Sara
- “My two sons went to Heaven in 2013, only 13 days apart from one another. We would love to spoil them at Christmas time but instead we spread the joy in their memory. Each member of my family fills two shoeboxes of gifts for under privileged children through the charity samaritanspurse.org. We buy gifts for children the same age as my sons so in a way it still feels like we get the experience of sharing Christmas with them! It’s bittersweet of course but it feels good to honor their memory and bless someone else with a little Christmas joy!” – Kelly
What do you do? Tell me below or join me on Facebook and share.