As we visited Poppy’s grave the other weekend, we discussed how we couldn’t believe we were already approaching our 2nd Christmas without her, and to be honest, I think I am feeling it a lot more this year than last…Since we crossed the threshold to December, I have been pretty emotional, easily brought to tears and struggling through! Usually such an exciting month for us, its hit me this year what Christmas really feels like with a child in Heaven and its pretty rubbish and required more effort from me than I anticipated.
It began when we put the tree up last week and I came face to face with a “poppy” bauble from last year…a gift I treasured last year when it was given to me, but this year was hard to handle. I don’t quite know what it was about the scenario, but with seeing her name and realising she wasn’t here and thinking about all of the excitement we were approaching and her not to be here to enjoy it too, less gifts to buy and one less child to snuggle up, and just that we lost her, just crushed me and has been hard to bounce back from!
When I think about last Christmas, just 2 months after her Stillbirth, I honestly think I was still so numb to it all and a little detached. I did a few weird things and cried some, but mostly I was emotionless and did my usual auto pilot stuff of going into the “What would Mary normally do” mode and then went with the flow of that, but yes, this year I cannot escape the thoughts of what Christmas, a celebration of Birth, a season of joy and families really feels like when the dust is settled and you reflect on its like with one less member here. I have no doubts, being Christian that Poppy lives on and is with Christ, I am growing to the faith that her purpose was never for this earth, too pure perhaps, but either way at times like this, that belief causes a lot of pain too, because to think so much of Him and his birth and life whilst giving us hope and light, also makes me sad that she is not here with me, her mother, to snuggle and bring gifts to, to show her the lights of Christmas and for her to be a giddy little kipper with her Brother and sister as they evaluate the reality of Santa (yes they are already doing that)!
It helped a lot yesterday, to spontaneously take Ethan and Megan to the shops and choose her some gifts for her grave. We Chose an oasis “P”, that my sister is going to help me to create a festive arrangement, and then a snowy Christmas tree and a snugly bird from her siblings – just a what a 1 year old would love I’m sure and then we got her some poppy red candles that we hope to light for her on Christmas day which the kids thought were fantastic. It was a lot of fun to choose them, to hear the kids talk of her, I loved that they chose the bird because “it looked more snugly in the cold”and to know I wasn’t sitting useless at home, not able to do anything for child #3 at Christmas time. I have certainly felt happier since getting these things.
Finally on Saturday, as I drove solo listening (and singing very loudly) to my Christmas carols CD (cos I’m cool like that) the song “It came upon a midnight clear” brought tears to my eyes and stopped me in my bellowing tracks with the words:
It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold:
“Peace on the earth, goodwill to men
From heavens all gracious King!”
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.
Still through the cloven skies they come,
With peaceful wings unfurled;
And still their heavenly music floats
O’er all the weary world:
Above its sad and lowly plains
They bend on hovering wing,
And ever o’er its Babel sounds
The blessed angels sing.
What a weary world we live in and how heavy life can feel, but however hard Christmas is this year and in years to come, I like to think that he whose birth we celebrate, allows all of our Angel Children to come through the skies, singing praises and whispering “Peace on earth, goodwill to men” to each of our hearts, that stillness and peace can be felt when we reflect on His birth and life. I know he knows our pains and wishes and I hope more peace and joy lies ahead in this season, because its pretty wearisome to have her missing!