Decorating a Christmas tree is a tradition that goes back to my childhood. I particularly remember these clear, plastic icicles I always put on the tree, no matter how old I got or how worn out they became. I’m sure my mom thought they were the tackiest things ever, but she still encouraged me to put them up. For me, they pulled the look of the tree together.
Over the last couple of years, I’ve decorated my own tree, minus any plastic icicles. I don’t go overboard decorating and my tree doesn’t mirror anything you would see from Better Homes and Garden. It is simply me. My continuing of a tradition.
This year, I. . .
Wait–there is no tree.
For the life of me, I can’t bring myself to put one up. For the most part, I’ve barely noticed. However, the last couple of days, something feels missing.
It’s hard to explain, but I don’t think I could look at a Christmas tree in my living room without feeling a profound sense of sorrow. The baby that I carried, the one who was carried for such a short period of time, the baby that took me two and a half years to conceive, is not here.
This would have been right around the time I would have found out my baby’s gender. My girl. What I waited for, forever. It’s a very hard thing for me to accept and I honestly try not to think about it. I’m rarely successful, but I try.
There have been times over the last few months when I have felt like I have been crushed by the sheer weight of this grief and very much alone. I’ve probably asked the why, why, why question so many times that God is sick of hearing it. But, still, I can’t help it. When you wait so long for your dream to come true and that dream is ripped right out of your hands–where is the logic in that? There has to be some logic, doesn’t there? There has to be some sense to the universe, right?
I hate to admit it, but for the most part, writing has made it worse. So I haven’t been doing it. Sometimes, writing is very liberating and healing. At other times, it makes me relive what hurts the most. So, I’m at a crossroads.
Part of me wants to hold on to something, I guess. Maybe I will put up a tree, if only for the sake of the cat. She loves playing around it and in it and I only pretend to be upset with her when I come home to find my ornaments on the floor. She better watch out though or she may not get the kitty condo for Christmas!
I guess that’s what people do who have suffered a loss. They try to hold on to what they know (like decorating a tree in plastic icicles), even if they are falling apart on the inside. It’s funny– you never know the type of burden a person is carrying by merely looking at them. The best a person can do for one who is hurting is to simply be there for them and that can be a hard thing to do. We can only try.