Anniversary and Holiday

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Why Holidays, Anniversaries and Due Dates are so difficult. Yes, this is a normal happening after the death of our baby.

How to survive due dates, anniversaries & holidays...

Why are these so difficult after a loss?

How to approach these days?

Creating new traditions to survive the special event or occasion...

Healing Happens-A Story by Julie...

We are suppose to be happy on these days...

They mark a time when we are suppose to have happy memories and be enjoying special family traditions. After a loss, our empty arms make us very aware that we have no living child to share or celebrate this occasion with.

Instead it is like we are observing an unreal event...

While others can "go on with these times," we feel like outsiders looking in. This is especially true the first year or so after our loss.

Observe these occasions as you your own way.

SHARE Atlanta realizes that these occasions hold different levels of intensity for parents, and that the various feelings can cause much pain and confusion for everyone involved. SHARE makes suggestions about how to handle these times.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Thoughts to consider as a special occasion approaches -
for the "first" time and any other time
that you realize you need to be gentle with yourself.

  • Be kind to yourself - don't force yourself to do anything more than you are comfortable doing. Life will not stop if you change a tradition or an expectation.

  • Grieving uses lots of energy and time. This makes it difficult to deal with any additional demands(such as a holiday, etc.).

  • Make plans that seem "safe", but be willing to change them if the day comes, and it just doesn't feel right. That is okay and normal.

  • Often the days approaching the date are harder than the actual day! It might help to think about activities to ease you - to - the day.

  • Some try to ignore "the day", this may work, but usually our subconscious makes us realize we are there. If this happens, take a "time-out" to regroup. Maybe you can do something to ease the pain even as it happens. Try something different or new...

  • Many parents actively plan the day doing something that feels right to them. This could mean a quiet day at home, a trip, reaching out to some special cause, or an activity totally different than what would normally happen. (See "Coping Ideas" in our Drop Down Box)

  • It is fine to change tradition - just this once or forever - who knows, by making a change you may discover something you learn to love.

  • Keep the lines of communication open the best you can. Let others know what you plan if you want, but don't feel that they have to necessarily agree. Listen as you can, but then know that they are coming from their own point of view.

    This is your walk, and only you can take the responsibility to make some of the decisions. (See "Friends, Family and Co-Workers" in our Drop Down Box)

  • Sometimes what makes you feel good or better does not need to be shared with anyone else. It can be your personal choice.

  • As time passes, these days can become days where we remember our baby's specialness and our memories become bittersweet. As we touch our mementos or remember the days gone by, the intensity of the pain fades and the warmth of the moment remains. Marcia McGinnis

  • ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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    Creating new traditions to survive the special event or occasion...

    (We)...couldn't bear to recreate
    the Christmas (of) before,
    because the memories were just too painful.
    We decided to start some
    new traditions that would help...
    Keeping Our Children "Forever in our hearts"
    During the Holidays
    by Colleen

    Many parents try to fulfill their expected role by trying to push aside their true feelings.

    Bereaved parents attend family functions or celebrations in hopes that they will be "caught up" in the festivities and "forget their pain." These are the hopes, also, of their loved ones. Usually, this doesn't happen. The spirit isn't amount of pretending can protect a grieving person.

    We encourage parents to protect themselves. Simplify!

    As is suggested in our list of "Ways to help in special occasions" - don't put yourself in situations that intensify your pain. If you realize that you are in the "wrong" place...leave.

    Change can ease the soul.

    As Colleen says in the quote above new traditions can help - later you can, if you decide to, return to some of the "old ways," but for now ease your steps along this path by doing what you can ~ not what others (and yourself?) want you to!

    As different holidays and seasons come along, please remember that you are a parent (with special memories) so take time to remember and to take care of yourself. Marcia McGinnis

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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    Healing happens gradually...a story by Julie...

    Gradually...The warmth of the their presence remains forever in our hearts.

    We remember our baby's specialness, and our memories become bittersweet....

    "He was a boy"
    "How do you know that?"
    "Because your Daddy and I saw him, held him."
    "But I thought he died in your tummy."
    "He did. But then he was born and we held him and touched him. He looked like he was
    sleeping, only he was not breathing."
    "He was dead."
    "Yes. He was dead."

    This was the conversation that Ryan, at 5 years old, and I had as our family walked down to the Chattahoochee River to put flowers in the water for your 4th anniversary.

    You would be 4 today, Jussy, but that means little to me today, that is not what I mourn today. For when I think of you on your birthday, I am still there with your Daddy, both of us vaguely aware of our surroundings. I am still there, not understanding why you are gone. I am still there, not believing that this has happened to me.

    And how I miss you, Jussy. How I miss you. And today, I don't long for your 4th birthday, but for that first baby touch, when I know we are as we should be. And today, 4 years away from you, I wish I had something more of you than the tears I shed silently in a room where your remaining flowers sit dying in a vase. This was the conversation I had with myself as I marked another year of missing you.

    "Was Justin a boy or a girl, Mommy?"
    "There would have been 3 boys, if Justin had lived, Mommy."
    "There are 3 boys, Ryan."
    "Yea, there are 3 boys."
    And again I know there are more than tears for your life.

    Written by Julie B. on the 4th anniversary of her son, Justin's, death. Justin was stillborn at 39 weeks due to a cord accident on July 31, 1991. (SHARE Atlanta)

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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