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As we embark on a new year it is always bittersweet. As parents who have lost a child ending one year and starting a new one is very difficult. Leaving our children behind and starting a whole new year without them is incredibly tough.. Where would they be now? Who would they be with? Would they have spent the holidays with me or would they be working or starting their own family and their own traditions?

It is hard to start a new year. You are one step further away from them. You worry if anyone still remembers them. You try to find ways to bring them with you. You struggle with what to do with their Christmas ornaments. The ones they made. The ones that by now you had hoped to pack up and give to them when they had their own home and their own tree. You struggle with the box of school memories and you can’t bear to get rid of them, but you looking through the boxes is too painful to consider. So they sit unopened in a box in your garage, basement, attic, somewhere were you don’t have to actually look at it daily.

You read social media of their friends and are sad that they aren’t here and you are sad that they have all seemed to move on without your child.

Talk about your child. Share memories of holidays past and create new memories if you can. I have Michael ornament I do every year.. I buy an ornament for mu family, his friends, and my relatives that keeps his memory alive in our holiday gatherings. I pick out an ornament that reminds me of Mike and always include a note as why I choose that ornament for the year. I spend many hours thinking and searching for the perfect ornament for the year. I put his stocking up every year and write a note to him and put it in the stocking. I find a cause, a family, someone in need and donate money or presents in his memory. I always make his favorite holiday food and share it with family. I do things in his memory like giving a waitress a $25 tip for an $8 breakfast with a note to buy something just for her. I leave money behind in the cash back tray at the grocery store knowing that the right person will find it. Your child may not be here, but you can still find ways to honor their memory. I

Living with child loss is painful every single day. On holidays and birthdays it is especially painful. Take some time to remember your child. He/she isn’t forgotten. As long as we live and breath our children will be remembered. I pray 2022 brings you much love, peace, and beautiful memories of your child.

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