Subscribe to Free Healing Emails for Mothers

I Have a New Holiday Tradition
Holidays, Losing a Child

I Have a New Holiday Tradition

I miss our Christmas’ past. When my kids were young, I would throw out oats with sparkles, saying the sparkles would attract the reindeers. As they grew, I had their stockings posted, but they did not know there was anything in them because they were filled with gift cards for their favorite fast food restaurants.

Last Christmas was the first without my son and I had difficulty deciding what to do with his stocking. It hurt. It hurt a lot, but I did display them. As usual, I filled my remaining sons’ stockings with gift cards. For my son gone, I placed a personalized ornament that I had made for him. Christmas day, I took it out and placed it on the tree. I cried the whole time – still asking: “Are you kidding me? How did this happen?”

Another post on the Alliance of Hope forum made me think again about the stockings. I cannot leave any of my sons’ stockings not displayed. Then a light bulb moment when I recalled the advent calendar that starts December 1st. Twenty-Four doors of cardboard. You open one up each day for a saying, a prayer, or a treat.

I realized how to incorporate my son who is not here physically. I will place his stocking alongside his brothers and write a note to him on each of the 24 days. It maybe one word or it may be a chapter depending on what comes to me. I may even put in a heart, or a feather, or something that has meaning. Angel wings come to me presently.

I am thinking right now that on Christmas Eve, I will have my own ceremony. I will light them up and send them above. I do not even think I will share this with my family. Time will tell. They already think I am a notch off. I giggle at that.

I hope that you will try to incorporate something special this season – either with your family or by yourself – despite the pain. Just my thoughts.

It is a tough time of the year. I am trying, we all are. Respect that. Yes, I am posting a lot. Because I know most can understand.


About the Author

Wisdom From Our Community

"Wisdom From Our Community" posts originally appeared on the Alliance of Hope Forum for Suicide Loss Survivors and are reprinted with the permission of the authors. Our online forum transcends time and distance, offering a culture of kindness, hope, and understanding to people who have lost loved ones to suicide. Operating like a 24/7 support group, our forum is supervised by a mental health professional and moderated by a trained team of loss survivors. Members can read and comment, share their stories, and connect with other suicide loss survivors.Read More »