Baby Number 3, Babyloss, Life

Grief at Christmastime

Christmas is fast approaching. It somehow manages to sneak up on me every year. Not one ounce of Christmas shopping has been done – except for my rainbow babe’s gifts, which I laybyed back in June (thank you Big W and your no deposit Christmas toy layby!).

I think when you’re missing someone important at your Christmas dinner table, Christmas sneaks up all that much faster. Just yesterday it was February and now I have to face another major holiday without my boys. It’s really hit me hard.

Last Christmas we didn’t have a lot of money (huge understatement). I had all these plans to make Christmas special – I felt like we had to try extra hard at that, for our boys, even though they weren’t here or perhaps because they weren’t here – but none of those plans eventuated because we were so broke. It ended up being a Christmas just like any other, just like our sons had never been here. It was sad.

This year we already have gifts under the trees for our boys, and a gift for our little girl from them. I know it might seem silly for our boys to have a gift each, but they will sit with their urn and perhaps Charlie will play with them one day.

I also took Charlie to have Santa photos done. It was a disaster, somehow, despite going reasonably well (from a normal person’s point of view). Let me explain:

  • My partner had to leave me alone in line to get something before the shops closed. No biggie, I guess, but I didn’t want him to leave. I do have severe anxiety, so in general I don’t like being in social situations alone, although I have been very good recently. He also manages to get Charlie to smile with just a look. I just wanted him to stay.
  • I had my boys’ urn with me. Santa was not very receptive of the idea of having them in the photo. He told me it wasn’t a good idea to have “that thing” in the photo. He didn’t say it rudely, and he may not have realised it was an urn (doubtful) but it stung.
  • Charlie would not smile at all. Here I was, with someone I knew in line behind me, and my normally crazily-happy baby would not put a smile on her face. And I tried to make her smile, but I suppose my anxiety may have held me back a little there. She just stared blankly. So I paid $50 for a full pack of photos where she wasn’t smiling. This also made me upset all over again that Matt had left because I knew he would’ve been able to get her to smile.

All of those are really silly thing things to be upset over. But I just wanted to cry. I guess I was feeling extra weighed down by another Christmas without our boys’, even though their little sister is here. I also thought back to last Christmas – I didn’t get a Santa photo for our boys’ first Christmas. I see so many loss mums doing it, and I kind of wanted to, but I was too afraid of what people might think. Then to have Santa this year tell me point-blank that having their urn in the photo wasn’t a good idea. I don’t even know how that made me feel.

So I sat there for 30 minutes, waiting for Matt to get back, trying not to cry – and finally just cried into his shoulder when he got there. I just miss my boys so much and Christmastime is hard without them.


What to say to someone who’s grieving.

Since suffering my own profound loss, I keep thinking I should know the perfect words to say to others who losed their loved ones. However, when faced with the situation – which is sadly happening far too often recently – it hits me all over again that there are no perfect words.

Nothing will ever take away the heartbreak of loss. No words can lessen the ache, deep within their chest, that comes from missing someone so dear to them.

There are no words is what I say now. It sounds completely unoriginal, but actually a lot of thought goes into that sentence. I thought long and hard about what to say, about what I would have liked to have heard when I lost my sons, and came to the conclusion that there literally are no words. And, if I’m truly honest, saying nothing (or saying an overused phrase like “there are no words”) is better than saying the wrong thing.

Now, this blog post wasn’t completely random. There’s been a little tragedy in my home town. It’s a little too close to me, someone was driving from our house and never made it home. I actually didn’t know them particularly well; they were my partner’s guests, not mine (and they were fairly recent acquaintances of my partner at that). But most people in town did. The whole town is grieving. I think if I saw this man’s family down the street, instead of saying a word to them, I will give them a hug. Because sometimes words just aren’t enough.

Rest in peace, Ben.❤️ I may not have known you well, but I knew just how much personality you had. My heart breaks for your family.