December – Holidays, birthdays, emotions…

December….

A time when most people are thinking about holiday gatherings, decorations, baking goodies, presents to give, letters to Santa, and so much more.

Now I’m not saying I don’t think of those things. What I am saying is that my December is usually a roller coaster of emotions. It starts out on a bittersweet moment, the first is my mother’s birthday, and since she’s been gone 15 years, that’s a bit of a sad moment, but then the 5th is Zack’s birthday. This year he would have turned 8 years old. EIGHT! That means we’re almost to double digits! That is 10 years until adulthood! And yet on a day that I should have been celebrating, I was a crying and emotional mess. I have an amazing support group of family and friends that were there for me, encouraging me, my husband even brought me a yummy snack home when he got out of work, but the day was still missing so much.

That was a day that I should have baked a cake for my youngest son, that we should have watched him blow out the candles, make a wish, open presents, and there should have been a party with all his friends.

But there wasn’t.

I woke up with an emptiness in my heart. No birthday kisses, no special breakfast or dinner, no birthday spankings (with a pinch to grow an inch), nothing special, nothing to really indicate it was anything different than the day before or after. The only indication was the emptiness, and that reminder of my soul not being whole.

I’ve learned a lot in these past 7 years since Mr. Man passed away. I’ve learned that it is okay to be okay. I’ve learned that it is also okay to not be okay. I’ve learned that I can have my moments of anger, sadness, grief, happiness, and even joy. However I have also learned that my son’s memory is more than just the day he passed. I have learned that I was blessed to be his Mommy for the short time that I had him in my body and in my arms. I have learned that remembering him isn’t a bad thing, and that by sharing his memory he can live on in others as well.

There are still those days out of the year that give an extra little stab to my heart, like his birthday and the day he died. I have realized though that its okay to have those days

Then you’ve got Christmas around the corner from Zack’s birthday, and there’s more emotions involved there, but every year it gets easier. I’m not saying it gets better, just easier.  I’ve learned ways to handle my emotions, ways to keep Zack’s memory alive, and even ways to bring his memory into things with extended family and such. Some days it feels as natural as breathing, other days it requires more the talent of an experienced tight-rope walker.

However, this is the hand I was dealt, the cards I was given. I will not fold, I will play through to the end. I have decided that I’m walking away the winner because I got to be Zack’s Mommy.

I usually try to do these posts at the beginning of the month, along with sending out the newsletter; yet here we are at the end of the month. I don’t know if it is from the time that has passed, or just because of the holidays and this month – I don’t know – but this month, this post, and the newsletter have been extremely hard for me to write.

To all Angel Parents:

I know this month is hard for many of you, some just because of the holidays, others because of that and certain days that correlate with your Angel. Know that you’re not alone, and that if you need to reach out, we are here for you.

Your Angel was loved, IS loved, and will always be a part of you.

And we will try to help others remember your Angel too.

May your 2018 be a year filled with laughter, love, joy, wonder, and may you always know that you’re not alone.

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After the tragic loss of her son to SIDS, Kristina took her pain and grief and turned it into a way to help others. She is the author of "Shattered Soul: An Angel Parents Journey". Through her book she is helping other parents deal with the loss of a child while breaking the silence to help the rest of the world understand.

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