It is official – the holidays are once again upon us. It started much earlier than I remember. I was hearing Christmas music on the radio before Halloween. I changed the station hoping to hold off Christmas until at least after Thanksgiving. It worked – until this past week. There is no avoiding it any longer. The holidays are officially here. Something happens after the loss of a child. Holidays seem to come sooner and are harder than ever imagined.
Last weekend I attended a “Surviving the Holidays after a Loss” Event. I wasn’t sure what to expect or if I even needed to go. After all, we had survived last year didn’t we? As I watched the videos and took some notes I realized that last year had been a blur. We survived all right but only because we were all in a fog. That’s when the realization hit me. Year two would be even more difficult than year one. This year, we are all very aware that someone is missing. The fog has been lifted and we see very clearly.
As we celebrate this Christmas season we remember Jacob. We remember how he brought so much joy to our family. We remember how many people he touched in just 14 short years on this earth. We remember his big smile and the way he danced around the house. We treasure the videos we now have of him and Naomi together. We realize just how blessed we are to have had him in our family.
I wasn't wanting to hear Christmas music so early this year. I was afraid the music would bring back too many memories and that my emotions would be all over the place. My fear came true when I heard this song the other day. I pulled the car over and let the tears come. The reality is that our Christmas will be different from now on. There will always be an extra place at the table where Jacob would have sat. There will always be an empty stocking to fill and ornaments that were his to be hung. I will always have those memories. Maybe just maybe with each passing year things will get a little easier.
We love and miss you so much Jacob. We wish you were here with us but know that you will have a fantastic second Christmas in heaven.