Tuesday, 24 November 2009


A sleepless night, constant thoughts about the 5 weeks ahead of us and still nowhere near to putting it into words. The looming question is this: How can we make Christmas special for our children, when it is filled with grief, loss, a massive hole. I waiver between trying to gather the strength to make the festive season as special as it should be, against all odds, until the energy to carry it through deserts me again.

Of course, it will not be easy, who ever said life would be easy? Yet for the sake of the children who do not know or understand death and loss, who only know what they have, not what they've lost, do we not owe them to let them partake in the magic of Christmas?

And can the day someone died be separated from the date? Does it matter which date the anniversary happens to fall, can we ignore that it is Christmas Day? (of all the frigging days of the year, did it have to be Christmas Day? And then again, is it not insignificant which day it was because what's really frigging bad is that he's gone?)

There are no easy answers, I've had almost a year to figure it all out and did not. Instead, there are ever more questions, the only constant being uncertainty. I simply don't know what is best - not for me, but for all those around me whom I love.

I'm only even posting this thanks to Linda at You've got your hands full. Her post on bereavement and children made me realise that at least, I should be trying to put my confused mind into some words, without flooding the keyboard yet again. Because, if you like it or not, we will all experience grief at some point in our life, as much as we try to ignore death. I feel I've had my share, with a friend dying when I was 15, another when I was 19, my mum when I was 32. But nothing has been as hard coming to terms with as the last year following the sudden and unexpected passing of my brother in law.

If you or you're children have been affected by bereavement, Linda has brought together an impressive range of online resources which I wish had been there 11 months ago. I can't thank Linda enough for this, and I'm sure it will be extremely helpful to lots of people. To be honest, there's nothing as comprehensive online as collated in her post. It's been a long time coming and I feel a little bit guilty that I never had the courage to do it myself. Well, I don't feel guilty now, because it's out there now, and that's all that matters. So thank you Linda.


RML- Being More Through Having Less said...

I just read some of your past posts- my heart goes out to you and your family. I hope you can find a new way to celebrate Christmas in the future that encompasses everything.

Mwa said...

What a terrible thing to go through. The children of course make it worthwhile trying to make it special, and maybe the rituals of Christmas (definitely being together, eating together) can be a little healing to the adults.

Big hug. x

Clair said...

I'll need this but just now I need to do the grieving and then move on, its just too fresh.

Kat said...

December 12th is my black day. 21 years on still desperately sad. Dear friends are wedding on that day this year, maybe time to be happy aagain?

Linda said...

Hi Cartside, like your other commenters I am moved and humbled by your powerful words. I am so sorry to see what you have all been through and wish you all the love in the world. I thought long and hard about posting all the information I did, especially linking to or including extracts from bloggers who, like you, have written so frankly about their experiences and feelings. I am very touched by your thanks and in turn have thanked all of those contributing to my piece for their wisdom. If anyone ever wonders what anyone 'gets out of blogging' I hope they may begin to understand what it feels like to post something you hope will be of use and to then see a post like the one above. Thanks a million.

cartside said...

RML, thanks for your kind words, I hope so too.
Mwa, the children are a blessing truly. They demand normality.
Clair, I hope you can take all the time you need to grieve. My thoughts are with you and your friends.
Kat, I hope you find lots of happiness and manage to allow yourself time for sadness too.
Linda, I really thank you, it's so hard to write about if you're in the middle of it, words really fail, and I admire people who are able to write about it. You've really done a fabulous job and I'm so glad your post is out there!

Annie @ PhD in Parenting said...

I'm so sorry for your loss and for what you are going through. In my experience, it doesn't take a lot to make the season special for kids. They get caught up in the magic of it all even if there are no specific special plans or activities. Just take it day by day. I hope you will also find some solace and some magic in the season. ((hug))

Lady Mama said...

I am so sorry, this must be a very hard time for you and your family. If writing helps, keep it up. Blog readers are great listeners. Hugs to you.



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