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Please Remember My Son This Christmas

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To stand in a crowed room and be so misunderstood is the loneliest feeling. With every passing year since the death of my son, he becomes more of a memory and he fades away. Another Christmas might come and go without a mention of him.

I look at my children’s face on Christmas morning. They never met their older brother.  Their excitement and energy is contagious. I swallow my pain as it becomes the lump in the back of my throat. I hand out gifts and wonder what my son would be into this year, what would have been on his wish list. I gather the two of them together by the tree to take a picture and can’t help but think, there should be three.

I say nothing to change the atmosphere of the glorious day. I sip on my coffee with a smile on my face. I’m happy — really I am. But from the hole in my heart there’s a draft, there’s that feeling of sadness, that forever feeling of missing someone. It feels like I’m the only one to feel it, and it’s agonizing to feel such mixed emotions all at the same time.

As the morning becomes night and I get ready for Christmas dinner, I put on something with a sparkle. The crowd of family members grow, and it adds to my silence, to my loneliness. My hair and makeup are done perfectly, and my smile is so deceiving. I sip on my glass of wine, I blend in. I smile for family pictures as my heart begins to race.

What is it that I want? I ask myself.

I want you to remember him, to notice he’s not here. I want you to see my pain, just a little, maybe whisper his name. But then again, I want to keep this all inside of me, not dare let it spill out, because I don’t wish this feeling on anyone. I want your Christmas to be joyful, but to be aware of a Christmas that is sad like mine because this silence is killing me.

I want to say his name bravely, and have someone other than me know how real he was. I don’t want my pain to disturb your day, I just want to be like everyone else, but that’s impossible. I have experienced something many people can’t even recognize. The pain and loss a mother feels after her child has died leaves her in a condition like no other.

Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him or wish to hold him in my arms. Not even the magic of Christmas eases this pain.

Image via Thinkstock Images

Originally published: December 22, 2016
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