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Christmas Time

Christmas means so many things to different people. For most it is about a happy, exciting time of year, to spend with family and friends....a time to relax and enjoy. But for many it will be your first or consecutive Christmas without your precious baby.

Christmas is a time to celebrate but how can you celebrate when you don’t have your baby in your arms? Everyone has their own way of coping and you may wonder how to survive during this festive season when everywhere you look are Christmas decorations, Christmas trees and people busily shopping for presents.

All your hopes and dreams for Christmas together have been torn away from you and you may feel lost, despair, heartbroken and even a bittersweetness if you have living children. It is ok to be sad and to cry. You may have other children, your angel baby may have been your first, or perhaps you will have nieces and nephews around you this Christmas.

It is important to let yourself feel. Often you can feel numb because you have so many emotions running around your body and you don’t know how to deal with it and your body puts up an automatic protection barrier. It is also important to let others around you know how you feel about Christmas and what the day will be like for you. Others may try to understand how you feel but it is impossible for them to completely understand your situation unless they step into your shoes or you voice your feelings and concerns.

If your angel baby was your first baby you may decide to not even acknowledge Christmas this year. You may choose to do something special on the day to honour your baby but not join in the Christmas celebrations with family members. Or perhaps other family members will not celebrate Christmas either and join you in whatever you want to do.

For some people you may have other children that may or may not quite understand what has happened with the loss of your baby but still need to celebrate Christmas. Sometimes this can be a positive thing as you can throw all your energy into making sure your surviving children have a very special Christmas. Take some time during the day to reflect on your angel baby and do something in honour of your baby.

It can be extremely difficult to watch other family member’s children enjoy the day as they excitedly open presents. The most important thing is to be honest and open with your family about how you are feeling, what this Christmas means to you, and what things you would like to do to honour your baby. You may also be unsure of how your feelings with affect others but it is important to get through this day as best you can and therefore to put your feelings first.

You also may find it hard to write your babies name in your Christmas cards you send out to family and friends so you may just decide to add an extra x (kiss) from your angel or purchase a hole punch or stamp that symbolises your little one, maybe a star or a cherub and add that on the corner of the card to ensure they are included. Remember that it is ok if you wish to include your babies name too.

Here are some ways to honour your baby this Christmas:

  • Purchase ‘Sophie’ bears in honour of your baby and encourage friends and family to do the same.
  • Either buy or create your own bauble that has your baby’s name on it.
  • Hang a stocking and fill it with messages, gifts for your baby.
  • Visit the crematorium/cemetery
  • Decorate your baby's resting place with Christmas decorations
  • Release balloons
  • Donate to a charity
  • Place a special angel on the tree
  • Light a candle during the day
  • Plant a special flower or tree in honour of your baby
  • Talk about your baby

It is also important to remember that it is ok to enjoy yourself at Christmas although it is hard to celebrate when you are missing your baby.

Here are a few suggestions on how family and friends can support someone in grief during the Christmas season:

  • Allow us to talk about our babies
  • Allow us to cry, smile, laugh
  • Be understanding if we aren’t up to attending social gatherings
  • Give us a hug and tell us that you care and that you miss our baby too
  • Purchase a gift in honour of our baby, such as a Sophie Bear to donate in honour of our baby, a special tree ornament, an angel ornament, donate to a charity

From everyone at Bears Of Hope we wish you all a special Christmas, however you choose to spend it and hope that you can find some love, support and comfort from those around you to help you through this difficult season.