Thursday, December 22, 2011

It's That Time of Year

When I don't post for like...ummm...weeks, I'm at a loss at where to start.

Events have happened, emotions have been felt and funny things have been said. How do I put it all in one post? 

I'm often asked if this time of year is hard for me. And yes, usually it is. I dream of all the could have beens, but I'm doing okay. I feel full and happy and so very much in love with my life. I miss my babies like crazy, but the pain feels less this year. 

Less pain is nice. 

But it scares me. I fight feelings of guilt. Like I should always feel a wrenching pain. But as I process and reflect, I realize that I do always feel pain. And it's always deep, but the severity has lessened. My heart is not whole, and will never be fully healed on this side of Heaven. 

But don't we all live with the pain of loss? This world is broken. 

I know that for many of you, this will be your first Christmas without someone very dear to you. 

Or it may be your 10th Christmas without a loved one, but your pain is still wrenching and you find it hard to breathe this time of year. 

Like I did a couple of years ago, I want to remember with you. If you feel led, please leave a comment saying who you will be remembering this year. It would be my greatest honor to pray that your heart would find peace and be filled with joy.

God bless you, friends.

17 comments:

  1. You have such a beautiful family and are such a beautiful person. This Christmas I remember my son, Michael Joseph, who we called MJ. MJ spent 5 weeks in the NICU, born with a birth defect that caused his heart and lungs to underdevelop. His twin brother is perfectly healthy 2 1/2 year old. I often have those feelings of what could have been and what should have been. I remember your babies with you, and long with my MJ>

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  2. This holiday season I struggle with missing my unborn baby. The pregnancy was discovered unviable at my 12 week ultrasound. It was later discovered that I experienced a partial molar pregnancy. I have been monitored closely for the last 5 months. I recieved chemo treatment because my body was not self treating adequately. I'm suppose to 8 months pregnant Christmas Day. But I'm not, I'm not even close. Not a day goes by that I don't wonder who my baby would be and what they would like.

    Jamie

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  3. Bri, I am so glad you have joy in the midst of missing your babies. And don't feel guilty for any feelings you have or don't have. They will ebb and flow. Don't be afraid to feel joy - it's a gift that you can. And don't be afraid to feel pain at other times and let Him wash you in His comfort as He has many times. Love you!

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  4. Hi, my name is Molly, I actually use to go to school with your husband Ryan, a long long time ago at Chadashchay Christian school. A friend told me about your blog and I have enjoyed reading it. I am so sorry for you guys having to lose all your precious babies, I know the deep pain of losing someone you love dearly. I lost both my parents, my dad when I was ten and my mom when I was 20. We were in a car accident with my mom, my husband was driving and my first little girl was in the car as well, we were all OK but my mom didn't have her seat belt on so she was flown from the car. Anyway, I have been having a hard time this Christmas. It has been over six years since the accident but I still miss her so much. Thank you for posting what you did, it is encouraging to me and a blessing. God bless you and your family! = o )

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  5. The ache is there, but the pain isn't so searing after some years go by. Five years ago we unexpectedly lost our identical twin sons, Benjamin and Joseph at 17 weeks of pregnancy. A month later my grandmother died, and then the next month my other grandma died. It was unreal being actively involved in planning 2 funerals within 2 months; it was a very sad season.

    Now when we're back with our extended families for the holidays my 4-year old son enjoys playing with his 4-year old cousin (they're 2 weeks apart) and I get a little glimpse at what life with my twin boys might have been like. It is always a bittersweet reminder - sweet because it makes me think of them, but sad because I miss them. And sometimes what is really sad is that most of our family does not actively remember them with us. It's hard to know what to think of that...have they really forgotten, or do they just not know how to remember them? At any rate, thanks for letting us chime in. There are not enough opportunities to remember them.
    Julie

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  6. Tonight I have tears running down my cheeks because my friend's baby girl (22 months) who has suffered a rare neurological condition got to go Home... this afternoon... just in time for Christmas. She was so beautiful, so sweet, so perfect. Heaven is now suddenly so much sweeter.

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  7. Tonight I have tears running down my cheeks because my friend's baby girl (22 months) who has suffered a rare neurological condition got to go Home... this afternoon... just in time for Christmas. She was so beautiful, so sweet, so perfect. Heaven is now suddenly so much sweeter.

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  8. This Christmas I remember not a baby but my sister in law Michelle who passed away in July from mestatic breast cancer to the brain at 39 years old. I ache for her 4 young children left behind (13, 11,9,7) and the first Christmas without their mother. I read through the prayer requests here and also said a prayer for those with heartache this holiday season. I comforts me to know that they are all with the King and hearing the most beautiful choir of angels singing! Blessings to all of you, especially you Bri!

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  9. Praying for all of you & how you all touch so many lives with your journey...thank you. Our story goes like this.....our family was redefined with going in for our ultrasound for our 3rd child. There was no heartbeat. We were told we had to go to the hospital and deliver. Our stillborn daughter was delivered Dec 3....the story is bigger than this but knowing this was Gods will and how He carried us....the tears are for the physical love we're unable to. express to her and so we hug our 3 girls more and kiss them often and talk about Lily .....

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  10. Thanks so much for your invitation to be sad...and happy...and joyfully sad... I celebrate the son I have and daily mourn the son I lost... He's the same person...with a major brain insult. These things happen when you're born shy of 23 weeks. I see the miracle. I celebrate the power. I'm greedy. And angry. And sad. And joyful. Merry Christmas.

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  11. I remember my brother, Garrett, this year. He is spending his 10th Christmas with Jesus. We still miss him so very much! He was taken from us way too soon. He now has three namesakes within my family that proudly bear his name: my son Cameron Garrett, my nephew Caleb Garrett, and my cousin Lane Garrett. Our hearts will never be fully healed this side of heaven, but the hurt gets a little less each year. I can't wait to see him again some day!

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  12. Exactly a week ago today, my sweet grandma who was a huge part of my life and very much loved by all who knew her, passed away after suffering a stroke that has left us all grieving at Christmas with fresh and open wounds. I have cried so much in the last week, but today I woke up with a feeling of peace that surpasses understanding. I still miss my grandpa who passed away only a year and a half ago and now there is another hole in my heart. One thing I've learned about grief: we heal, but we are never the same. There will always be a part of me that misses my grandparents. Some days the pain feels so real and fresh...and other days I feel like I can rejoice in the memories without the tears falling. My husband told me last night, "There will always be that hole in your heart for each of your grandparents. Your heart will grow around those holes (as your love for others grows and you learn to love more people), but those holes will still be there." This year, more than any other, I'm realizing that none of the holiday traditions matter...and all that is left in Christmas is Christ - the only One who really matters anyways. I think this year I finally feel like I can fully grasp the meaning of today and what God did when He became flesh and dwelt among us.

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  13. Every day I remember and grieve for Baby C. My surviving triplets just turned eight, and the grief for the third baby just never goes away. I'm so grateful for the two that made it, but it is bittersweet because I see what the other one would be doing now and it makes me so sad. It is hard in my family because no one else grieves for the third baby like I do. I try to remember that Baby C is actually the lucky one - being with Jesus in Heaven is so much better than struggling on Earth like I have to do right now. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

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  14. This Christmas was the first without my grandfather but I know he was reunited with my grandmother for their first Christmas together in twenty years and they got to spend it in the most beautiful place........heaven

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  15. I know I'm late in commenting, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to mention my boy's name. This past Christmas was our 3rd without Erik. He passed away in November of 2009 after suffering fatal injuries in a 4 wheeler accident. He was 5 years old. I managed to make it through the holidays, but 2011 was definitely the hardest year so far.

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  16. There’s only one address anyone lives at and it’s always a duplex: Joy and pain always co-habit every season of life. Accept them both and keep company with the joy while the pain does its necessary renovations. Anne VosKamp,

    This Christmas was hard. Missing My Dad who was my best friend outside my husband. And my son who was stillborn and my inability to have more children. But God is still good and merciful to me

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  17. You are so tremendously blessed. Your family is beautiful. I know you must miss your babies, and there is neither shame nor guilt in the level of your grief. These feelings will always wax and wan with the passing of time. I cannot imagine losing a child, let alone many children. I would never try and lessen your grief with my own story of loss, but I do understand to a degree, that the holidays can seem overwhelming, claustrophobic and thick with memories of what could have been.

    18 years ago on December 1, 1993, my father passed away due to complications of brain cancer. I was 15. I will never forget how I felt then, and each holiday season brings up those feelings of yesteryear. It's cliche, but time does begin to heal those wounds. I will never be healed. Is that even possible? But, the more time put between present day and that awful year, the more at peace I become. I hope that with each passing year, your heart will heal a bit more.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to share. I love hearing from you.

P.S. I'm sorry for the word verification step, but oh, my. I'm getting lots of spam.