Saturday, December 06, 2008

How Do I Give Gifts When I'm Grieving?

I create pencil portraits of stillborn/miscarried babies, and I thought that this advice article by one of my past clients, writer Alyice Edrich, would be helpful to readers of my blog who might be going through the grieving process right now.

Dear Alyice,

My child past [sic] away a few years back and I have a hard time seeing Christmas presents under the tree for my other kids, and nothing for the one I lost. How can I cope?


Dear Grieving,

I am so sorry for your loss and your pain. I understand what you are feeling because I lost a child five years ago. One thing a friend and I do every year is place a gift-wrapped box under the tree in our child’s memory.

Your box could be a soft, cushiony pillow that looks like a gift (which is what I have because it feels great to hug and squeeze when I’m feeling really down at any particular moment), it could be a fancy gift box found in more expensive stores (which you can fill with your child’s memorabilia to be looked at when everyone is in bed—a special time for you to share with your spouse), or it could be as simple as wrapping an empty box and putting your child’s name on the tag. Just think of that box as one filled with your love, hugs, and kisses and ask the Lord to send them straight to heaven.

Now, if Christmas shopping has you down because you can’t buy anything for your little one, buy it anyway. If you see something that you would have loved for your little one to have, buy it, wrap it, cry over not being able to give it to your child, ask the Lord to send your love to your child in heaven, then take your child’s gift and deliver it to a child in need.

I know you’re having a hard time right now, and you’re probably wishing this holiday would just hurry up and go away. But know that your other children need this stability in their lives right now, and your willingness to continue this celebration for them says a lot about your love for them and your character. And as hard as it is to believe, each year gets a little easier. The pain, the loss, the hurt, and the wishing for it to hurry past don’t necessarily go away, but it gets easier to cope and enjoy these special moments with the living.

Copyright, Alyice Edrich and

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