It's been a rough season for both of us. Is it because Obie is getting further and further away? Because we're sleep-deprived with a toddler and a newborn? Maybe it's that we didn't get the injection of energy from seeing family and friends in person over the holidays. Or we're experiencing a NorCal December again. The reasons don't really matter, but it has been more sensitive, more raw, more tense than last year at this time.
Us - 12/25/2017
Video chatting family on 12/24/2017
It's a heavy time because of anniversaries and things layered on top of family-centered holidays and traditions. Balancing the sometimes still overwhelming grief with trying to create some holiday magic and wonder for Everett is...exhausting.
Obie Xmas gifts - a holiday we only have because of our boy - 12/9/2017
As we walk around our new home, all spruced up for the holidays, reminders of Oberon are everywhere. In addition to that, there are reminders of the many other babies gone too soon. Whether it's a gift from another loss parent, a holiday card with a missing member, or simply a totem we associate with a baby who died, reminders are everywhere. Sometimes it hits harder - the visual manifestation that other families are going through this grief as well.
Our little tree - 2017
Holiday cards as decorations - 2017
The weight of it can be crushing at times. This is what it takes to be part of a support community, and it highlights why we must practice self care. We grieve for Oberon, and yes, we sometimes also grieve for other families missing their children. It's natural to feel this kind of empathetic grief, and it hurts. Even with the heaviness of knowing so many stories and witnessing so much grief, we still encourage support groups to help deal with loss. It takes an emotional toll to give support, but the amount of support we've received far outweighs what we gave.
Like everything, it takes time and trials to learn how to find the right balance. Between giving support and taking on too much. Add in how much grief, support, and our family are changing over time and it's just a lot right now. A lot of sadness and heaviness, and then guilt when that darkness clouds the joy and light we want Everett and Imogen to associate with this time of year.
Christmas In The Park - 12/29/2017
This is holidays after loss. This is three years since we held Obie. Teetering between love and heartbreak, and never really knowing which will win the day.
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