Friday, December 21, 2007

Ah, the Christmas letter

Here's the thing. I've always maintained that I absolutely do not want to be treated differently by the successfully child-bearing among us. And I still maintain this to be true.

However, I do kind of think people should use a modicum of tact and sensitivity when dealing with the bereaved, especially around this time of year. Especially with a still-fresh loss compounding the sorrow of the three behind it.

Which is why I nearly burst a vein last night when I got a Christmas letter tucked into a Christmas card from friends of our. It was a sweet letter, but it was 98% kid-oriented.

I can't necessarily cope with hearing about all the milestones your 9-month old son has reached, especially when that son was born on the day Thomas was due nearly three years ago. I don't want to hear about how his big sister (born four months after my first miscarriage) dotes on that tiny boy.

This probably sounds cold. Mean, even. I love children. I love all my friends' children. I love holding them and making them laugh and cooing at them.

But I do it when I can. When I choose to. When I'm capable.

When a letter barges its way into my quiet, empty house and regales me with tales of life in a happy, child-filled home it makes me ache with emptiness and longing. It makes my house deafeningly silent. It makes the tree lights burn my eyes. It makes me cry quietly while I'm watching The Grinch with My Beloved.

I know my sorrow and its magnification at this time of year isn't top of mind for most people, particularly those we don't see often, but my God, how does it not occur to people (who, by the way, know about the twins when many people don't) that we might not want to read a "look what my kid can do now" letter?

How does it not occur to them that it might hurt us? How is it possible not to realize that a letter like that shouldn't be sent to people like us?

Just, how??


Kim said...

I know what you mean (in a different sense, but still). I have said that I am going to start sending out my own Christmas letter and a picture card with a picture of me alone or of me and my cat. Just so people get the point. (Although if they're that dense, they probably wouldn't.)

Much, much peace to you.

Kim said...

I, too know what you mean. I didn't get a letter but I got the photo Christmas card of the smiling baby. I smiled. Then I cried.

I'm not yet at the point of being able to hold others and make them laugh and coo. I see them and want to crawl in a hole. I cry instead.

Angela said...

::nods:: I hate the Christmas letter.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you completely. This is my third Christmas in mourning. Some people have not spoken to me since my first loss but they send me pictures of their babies at Christmas. Last year some of them I marked "return to sender" and didn't open them because I could see they were picture cards and these people have spoken one word to me. I wanted off their Christmas lists. You are a lot nicer than me since you try to keep up these relationships. If people wrote me off because I had a dead baby then I figure they weren't true friends anyway. I hope the rest of this holiday season passes by quickly for you and that 2008 will be kinder to you.

Julia said...

That is just cruel. I am so sorry.

Bronwyn said...

One of oldest and dearest friends called me on my birthday and immediately put me on speaker phone so that I could hear her 7 month old daughter who was "talking"... because nothing says "happy birthday" to a childless mother like the babblings of a healthy baby, right?

Thinking of you, your beloved and Thomas this holiday.

wannabe mom said...

i SOOO hear you. and i understand that you want to deal with babies on your own terms. UGGH!! i have not held a baby since my girls died, and i wouldn't know what to do with one if it landed in my lap.

Terynn said...
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