August 16, 2016, marked a significant moment in my life—I returned home from the hospital with our beautiful baby girl. Back then, I believed that navigating the challenges of motherhood, with its sleepless nights, midnight feedings, and diaper changes, would be the most demanding season of my life. Little did I know that a different and more profound challenge was in store for me.
The current season of grief has demanded a level of strength, endurance, and faith that surpasses anything I experienced during those sleep-deprived nights and hectic days. Coping with life after losing a child is a burden that isn't easily seen by others. Unlike the tangible challenges of early motherhood, this grief is borne internally, without outward signs or clear indications of its emotional burden.
Every day feels like a struggle, with restless nights and tiring days, yet life continues. There's an unspoken heaviness, a sorrow carried silently, with less support, encouragement, and grace extended to ease the pain. The world keeps moving, but the journey through grief is often a lonely one.
The holiday season adds to the challenges for grieving parents. In addition to the regular responsibilities and commitments, there's an expectation to attend extra church services, join holiday gatherings, and exhibit a sense of cheerfulness. However, grief doesn't follow holiday schedules. The internal pain continues, and the struggle intensifies as we try to maintain the Christmas spirit for surviving children, family, and friends.
It's a deliberate decision to prioritize self-care and recognize the limits of what can be endured in this particular season. There's no fault in doing things differently or participating in certain activities while avoiding others.
At its essence, Christmas is a celebration of Jesus- an acknowledgment of His departure from the glory of Heaven to come into the world as a humble and innocent baby. Perhaps, amid my grief and with an open heart, I present a sincere tribute to Him than all the decorations, bright lights, and stacked gifts ever could. This realization enables me to embrace the genuineness of my emotions during this season, recognizing that the true meaning of Christmas is not found in external festivities but in the deep recognition of Jesus and the comfort He provides to wounded hearts.
The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. He knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust. Psalm 103:13-14 NLT