The loss of a child is one of the most painful things anyone can go through. And whether you’ve lost a child, a parent, a friend, a grandparent or whoever, the holidays are a time in which emotions tend to run wild. The holidays are overflowing with traditions that undeniably bring about memories with our loved ones who have gone before us.
Christmas especially tends to be hard for many people, and understandably so. I get it. This year will be hard for me. Mabry is not here with us as she was last year. But this year will also be joyous. Owen is here with us. There isn’t a word to describe how this Christmas will feel for us. Our situation is the definition of unique. And while Christmas will be difficult to navigate through, I think I will make it through these upcoming days with a little more ease than I will New Years…and here’s why.
The Christmas story is one of HOPE. Jesus was born of a virgin, lived a sinless, perfect life, died on a cross for our sins and rose from the dead — all to save us, the people of THIS world — YOU and me, from our own sins. That means, as believers and followers of Christ, we get eternal life — with Jesus, and with our loved ones. It all started with his birthday — Christmas. Therefore, Christmas, to me, provides the reassurance and the hope that I need to get me by each day. It’s the reassurance and hope that I will see Mabry Kate again. It’s the reassurance and hope that Kyle, Mabry Kate, Owen and myself will unite as a family, complete in Christ. How amazing is that?
But New Years. Ugh. I don’t even want to think about it. This year, 2015, will be the last year that Mabry will have physically lived in. It will forever be the one and only year that we had the pleasure of holding both of our precious babies in. Though full of the absolutely most frustrating, scary, devastating, heartbreaking times of our lives, 2015 has also been full of some of the most joyous, loving, heartfelt, cherished and amazingly beautiful times of our lives.
Most people look forward to a new year as a time for new beginnings, new commitments and new accomplishments. This year I’m holding onto the previous year with every fiber of my being. I don’t want to let it go. I don’t want to move on, but I don’t have a choice. It will personally be a huge struggle. In a matter of about five weeks after 2016 arrives, it will be a year ago that I last saw and held my daughter. Our verbiage will then go from “months ago” to “years ago.” How can it already be that long since she was here before me?
While I’m sure 2016 will bring with it some incredible times, one thing it will not bring with it is Mabry’s physical presence. I’m certain 2016 will be full of her spirit and love living on through her brother and us who remember and love her on a daily basis, but it will still be rough not holding her in my arms. I will do my best to focus my thoughts and my attention on the fact that with a new year, we are one year closer to her, to heaven, to Jesus…and to being together as a complete family.