Last Christmas we ran away. It was exactly what we needed. It didn't feel like Christmas. We weren't forced into family traditions without Avery by our side. Honestly, if I wasn't 35.5 weeks pregnant, we probably would have run away again this year. And boy I wish we could have.
For most of the big events since losing Avery, the days leading up to the event are normally more of a drain than the day itself. The anticipation and anxiety of what the day will be like take their toll, leaving the actual day generally not as bad as I had built up in my head. Christmas this year, however was different. I have been so busy over the past few weeks, I had pushed the thoughts about Christmas to the back of my mind. I knew it would be hard, but I didn't work myself up over it. This made Christmas Eve and Christmas day much harder than I prepared myself to face.
Being forced into family traditions was absolutely heartbreaking. I made it a total of 15 minutes through our Christmas Eve service at a church before I had a mini anxiety attack and ran out of the church hysterical. Christmas Eve service is something I normally love and look forward to. However, it was a very I your face reminder of her absence. She should have been there with me in my arms. This is a tradition I looked forward to but absolutely hated being there last night. It killed me. It's the things we do every year that are the knife to the heart. The traditions kill me. She is supposed to be a part of them. Here with us, not just in memory.
Today, my old friend anger made it's presence known again. I woke up immediately angry. I wanted to sleep as late as possible but was wide awake at 6. She's supposed the be here. I'm supposed to wake up with her. We're supposed to have a tree with tons of presents for her. We're supposed to sit together and ready the story of Jesus' birth as a family. It's not supposed to be this way and it infuriated me. The littlest things had me on edge. I was dreading being around anyone and knew that it wouldn't take much to set me off. From the start of the day, I wanted to just crawl back in bed and avoid everyone and everything. But I couldn't, I had to out my game face on and face the traditions head on. I'm not going to lie, the day sucked.
Nobody should have to spend time at the cemetery visiting their child on Christmas. Nobody should have to debate whether or not to include their dead child on gift tags. Nobody should have to try to speak to everyone as little as possible on Christmas for fear they will snap, the anger finally taking complete control. Nobody should feel jealousy towards the happy families, complete and together on Christmas. It's hell. It's completely awful to spend Christmas this way.
I'm absolutely exhausted. I am so ready for the day to be done. I am ready to crawl in bed and have a good cry until I fall asleep. I'm ready for this pain to be over but I know that it will always be here in some form. Parts of Christmas may become more bearable over the years, but there will always be the lingering ache from the missing piece of my heart.
Nothing will ever be the way I once pictured in my perfect world. And it hurts so much knowing I will never be able to change that. But I am thankful that God sent his son, Jesus, to be born and most importantly to die for us. Because of this, I know that while I cannot bring Avery back to me, one day, one amazing day, we will be together again. For this I am thankful. This keeps me going even when I feel like throwing in the towel.