Monday, 19 December 2016

Christmas 2016 - Kristina

Today I awoke with a sense of blackness. That’s how it happens now.
I can be ok for weeks, sometimes months. I remember them every day. Yet some days like today it’s all I can think of.
It’s Christmas so I should be getting excited to spend the holidays with my two rainbow children. In some ways I am.
To see their faces when they open their presents and the look of wonder at Christmas lights.
Yet I’m always reminded there are 2 not here.
There are two I cannot watch as their faces light up to hear Christmas songs. They won’t be any extra feet running down the stairs to see what Santa left.
For 10 years Christmas has never been the same.
It’s also ten years without my mum. My mum who was Christmas in itself. She would cook the big English turkey dinner and have all the treats.
Without her and my babies, Christmas has become a mixture of sadness and some joy.
I have become an expert in hiding my pain not only from my two rainbows but also everyone.
Unless you have walked this path you could never begin to understand the sheer heartbreak that time does not heal nor simply goes away.
How could it? Whether you never met your baby or like me got to see and touch and smell them. They are a part of you. That instant love and joy you had for them never leaves.
The moment I knew I was pregnant I loved them. I talked to them, chose names, watched them on the ultrasound.
These memories and feelings don’t fade.
People have told me I need to move on and to be grateful for my two living children. What they could never understand is that I am fully aware of how lucky I am to have carried to term and brought these amazing souls home.
As I know what it’s like to carry a baby and feel it kick you, to give birth and then to bury them both.
But could they move on and forget if one of their children died?
I love all my children. I will always love all my children. I will never forget.
As I drove my daughter to school this morning all I really wanted to do was to go home and go to bed.
To sleep and to lay in my grief.
I can’t though. My youngest is home. He needs me to play lego and watch Christmas movies with him.
Somehow I will have to struggle through and wait till their dad is home or hope this blackness lifts.
Christmas for me is harder than their birthdays. I chose to celebrate their birthdays as a happy occasion. Don’t get me wrong, I still cry.
Christmas is supposed to be a joyful season of parties, carols, Santa photos, gift swapping and family.
Yet for us that have lost it’s not. It’s another yearly reminder that they are not here.
I try every year to find a new ornament to put on the tree in their honour. We have their feet and handprints on there too.
For me it’s a little sign they are here and we remember.
Honestly though I wish someone other than me would remember them. To write their name in a card or comment on the tree. In 10 years no one ever has.
Sometimes I wonder if I don’t mention them or wish them a happy birthday would anyone but me remember?
My husband very rarely mentions them.
That’s hard for me as I don’t want to upset him with my pain.
He holds me when I cry and tries so hard to comfort me but really I want him to know without me telling him.
Grief is at times so cruel. It can bring you to your knees with a smell, memory, name or a song.
When it hits me it hits hard and can take my breath away. I can’t say what it was today especially but all I know is it hurts.
So if you are reading this and know someone who has said goodbye to their baby or child, tell them you remember by saying their child’s name or expressing your awareness that this time of year is difficult for them.
Today I will be gentle on myself and try to put that brave smile on.
I hope if you are reading this, you realise you too are not alone and your baby or child are important.
We as their mothers remember them every day and those memories never fade.
I wish us all some love and gentleness this Christmas season. Xoxo

Merry Christmas Charlie and Neve 

If you require support after reading this blog please contact
Sands on 13 000 72637

Kristina Riley

Kristina is a children's nurse and a counsellor.
She has four beautiful children.
Charlie and Neve are her two angels who are the  inspiration for raising more awareness about stillbirths and pregnancy loss.
Her two miracles Maya and Zack are the reason she keeps moving forward on this journey of grief.
Her husband Curt is also her inspiration to raise awareness for fathers and their grief.

There needs to be more awareness for us all.

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