Christmas has hurt worse than ever these last few years, ever since we lost Eli. I've put extra thought into why this year and come up with a few possibilities. One is the difference between the boys' pregnancy timelines. When I was pregnant with Wyatt we spent a blissful, ignorant and happy Christmas season. We received his Potter's diagnosis less than a month after Christmas. Eli was diagnosed just before Thanksgiving and so I spent one of my saddest Christmases ever. Surrounded by my entire family, pregnant and suffering in silence. Very very few times was my pregnancy even acknowledged. It was so sad. I wonder if I'm haunted by that pregnancy. If it has somehow carried a shadow through each year. Same house, same decorations, same family members, etc. When I was pregnant with Wyatt we lived in an apartment and I never spent another Christmas in that place.
The second possibility has religious roots. I'm Catholic and so Advent is our time of preparation for the tiny Savior's arrival. I find it hard to prepare myself in any way for the birth of a boy. It has too many parallels for me. I wonder if anyone who has lost girls struggles with those same thoughts at Christmas or if gender really does have a part in this. I also remember my preparations for Eli's birth which was less than three months after Christmas. It's just too painful.
I wrote a few years back that our family was able to escape and that was a wonderful Christmas filled with less sadness. I don't know if it was because of the exciting things we were able to experience with our girls for the first time or the change of scenery or a combination of both, all I know is it was different. This year is not. I drug my feet in every way possible when it came to holiday preparations. The only thing that really keeps me going is my children counting on me to hold fast to our own traditions. Others that are not as important I am letting go. Something has to give.