I came across a to-do list recently. Discarded in a cupboard with a pile of half written Christmas cards. Everything was ticked on the list, apart from one thing. Put up the curtains in baby’s room. The curtains weren’t delivered when they were meant to be in mid November. They were delayed. I don’t remember why, just that the curtains came on the 20th December. Three days after she died. I put them up. Determined her room would be perfect for her. Ignoring the fact she would never see them.
Along with the list was Christmas cards. I had set about writing them planning to be organised. I wrote the name in the first card and when I got to signing who it was from I paused. Our baby was due on 26th December. All my other babies had arrived late, so in all likelihood she would arrive after Christmas. Should I include her on the cards. Love Andrew, Sophie, Annabelle, Lukie & bump? But what if bump arrived before Christmas. We knew what we were going to name her, should we put her name and hold onto the cards and post them after she was born? I couldn’t decide, I put them to one side with my to do list. Assuming I would get to them another day. But I never did. I don’t remember if I sent any cards last Christmas, if I did I’ve no idea who I signed them from.
I had tried to be so organised. Yet I had failed to plan for misfortune. For devastation I could never have considered a possibility before.
Every card I went to write this year has been put off. I started the year by proudly including Lexi’s name in cards. And then other people’s responses to our loss made it hard to navigate what to write. It made me question what I was writing. Would people think I was crazy if I included my dead daughters name in a card? It gave me so much anxiety I would start and never finish. I have a stack of cards at my desk, half written, not sealed and never sent.
I don’t want to write Christmas cards this year, so I won’t be. It’s not cause I’m ignoring Christmas, or not celebrating. I am. I love Christmas. Writing the cards won’t make me happy. Friends and family might receive one less Christmas card but the wishes are there still. Instead of buying cards this year we will be adding the money to Lexi’s fund. We will be concentrating on the important parts of Christmas, rather than the things. Attempting this year to just create happy memories.
? Photo of our beautiful Annabelle, Christmas 2013.