I have seen that so many bereaved parents often have a symbol that represents their baby. For me, one of Holly's symbols is the holly plant. It sounds silly, as its obvious that the holly plant is around at this time of year but seeing so much of it is helping me get through Christmas. When I see a holly plant I know that my Holly is with me and for that moment it makes me stop and smile. Holly is all around me right now.
The prospect of Christmas without one of your babies is unimaginable and unthinkable. There is a massive gaping hole that should be filled with the life of my little Holly. There are millions of these gaping holes where so many little lives should be this Christmas. Many of us are decorating our babies graves, buying them presents and hanging their stockings, all in a bid to try to keep them very much with us. Many of us simply can't bring ourselves to celebrate Christmas this year, so instead are simply focusing on just getting through the day.
I have always loved Christmas. It has always felt special and magical. A day to be spent with the ones you love. But the idea of spending it without one of your loved ones just adds to another surreal moment and flash of the reality that this is my life. I feel robbed that my daughter isn't here. I feel robbed that she will never experience the joy of christmas, the pure excitement, the love of family coming together and the magic of Father Christmas. This year I should be having Christmas with a very newborn baby and my toddler, not taking a visit down to Holly's 'spot' at the crematorium on Christmas morning.
I am trying to keep busy. That's part of the reason why I created the Remembrance Tree as I needed something to do for our babies, something to mother and something positive. I am so very fortunate that I have become part of (sadly) a growing community on IG who have included Holly in their Christmas's this year. Holly has literally been remembered all over the world which means just so much. She has recieved Christmas cards, taken part in balloon releases and also been on some truly wonderful gifts from special friends. It means so much to have people think of her and think of me.
I have lost the 'festive cheer' this year, it was inevitable but the love that people has shown me reminds me of why this time of year is important. It is the kindness, the consideration and the empathy which is helping me to get through it. When alot the world feels dark and Christmas feels full of 'what's the point' the love of others shows me why it is important for me. It is to keep going for my eldest and it is to keep going for my youngest, to continue Holly's legacy and hope that it reaches out to someone else struggling this Christmas.
Christmas doesn't stop when you lose a baby. I wish it would, I really wish it would but as with everything, life keeps on going. But I have realised that the support of those who love you keeps on going too. The support is quite literally holding me up, embracing me and showing me that I can get through next weekend. I am so grateful for those who have been including Holly this Christmas, it means more than I can ever explain.
I hope that when you see some holly it reminds you of my little Holly and how much love and kindness go such a very, very long way.
On the 7th September 2016 at 25 weeks gestation, Holly was born, still after a battle with complete heart block.