A Grief Reflection: If Only…

By Sue Elvis

From my grief diary:

2nd December
I feel like staying home for Christmas instead of going to Sarah and Shaun’s as planned. It will be hard to stay cheerful and festive and I don’t want to spoil anyone’s day. In fact I feel like staying in my room and not seeing anyone until I feel better. This may be months. I don’t want to impose on anyone, to be a nuisance and to have people get fed-up with me talking about Thomas all the time…

 11th December
Christmas is getting nearer and as it approaches I feel even more miserable. I don’t want to shop or send Christmas cards. I don’t even want to receive cards or presents. It is difficult to show an interest in the Christmas cooking or other plans…

18th December 1999
Andy and I went to finish the Christmas shopping… I kept thinking if only we had our baby in our arms, we could be happy this Christmas…

23rd December 1999
Andy came home early for the Christmas holidays. I get moments of Christmas excitement which get extinguished very quickly as I remember Thomas…

My baby died six weeks before Christmas and as Christmas Day drew closer, an added burden dragged upon my heart. I felt like the only sorrowful person in a world of rejoicing people.

Friends asked us to join in with their celebrations and although we did accept their invitation, all I really wanted to do was spend Christmas alone with my misery.  The effort needed to look cheerful seemed beyond me and I didn’t want to be blamed for spoiling everyone else’s joy.

But every now and then, when I least expected it, that well-known feeling of Christmas excitement and anticipation passed through me: at the sound of a beautiful carol, at the thought of my children unwrapping their gifts… But then all at once I’d remember, and the excitement would vanish.

I imagined my son six weeks old in my arms, and I thought “If only… If only my baby had been healthy… If only God had healed him in the womb… If only the doctors had been able to save him… If only he were here with us, I could be happy this Christmas and everything would be alright.”

But of course, ‘if only’ never happens. That isn’t the way to healing and joy and peace. I had to find another way: acceptance, trust, prayer…

Do you ever think, “If only…”?

Please share my story If Only… at my blog Sue Elvis Writes

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