Each Christmas, since 2007, I have faced the unimaginable: a Christmas with two children in heaven.
It is lovely to experience Christmas with my two rainbow babies (rainbow babies/children: a term used by bereaved parents to describe the children they have after a loss of a baby or child), but, they are not their sister’s replacements. They are tiny people in their own right who I love equally with their two heaven-bound sisters.
I am so bereft really. At first I was so angry that I was robbed of their lives – and I will probably never stop being so – but as the years have progressed, it has changed. I am still as heartbroken as the moment I discovered I had lost Bryonie, but my grief has changed like clay in the hands of a potter. It has been shaped and warped, fusing with my soul. It has made me a new person.
Instead of visiting Santa, I will be visiting a graveyard. Instead of buying toys, I will be buying a little flower pot to put on their grave.
When they first died, I went to their grave every single day. I was on maternity leave without the babies I had been pregnant with. I was slowly going out of my mind with the pain of their loss.
It took me forever to realise that they were not there anymore. Just their tiny, perfect little bodies – but their souls, that bit of them that can never die – were with us all the time.
My two rainbows are lucky to have such beautiful, brave and perfect guardian angels watching over them.
So on Christmas eve when I tuck my youngest two into bed, their sisters will be there. In the morning when they open their presents, their sisters will be there. They will always be there.
I know Christmas is a rubbish time for so many people who are struggling without loved ones. I feel for them. I get it.
The sad thing is, most people will not understand the depth and demands of your grief stricken heart and mind, as I found out myself to my absolute horror.
Merry Christmas to you and to those in heaven you are going to be missing.