Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas came and went

I had every intention of posting Christmas night. I thought I would sum up our day, sharing our tears and memories of our first Christmas with our grief. But the day was too exhausting. I am almost tempted to say that it was the hardest day since he past, including the funeral day. I never expected to feel so beat down at the end of the day. When we got home, I got in our tub (which was never used before Brayer passed, but has been used several times since) and then crawled into bed. It was the longest day ever.

The only picture we have of him in a Christmas outfit. "Santa's Helper"

I really don't know what to say about Christmas other than it was hard. Earlier in the week, I was really mad at Christmas. I typed up an entire post about how mad I was, but ultimately didn't share it. I was mad that while people were buying presents for their kids, I was picking out a grave flower arrangement for mine. I was mad that people got to look forward to Christmas with their kids, while I had to hold back tears for memories lost. And I would be lying if I said those things were not still infuriating to me. However, when Christmas arrived, I felt much more sadness then I did anger.

Kyle and I debated for a long time on how to spend Christmas. I voted for staying in bed all day. But we both knew we wanted to visit the cemetery and spend some time there, so that meant going back to Sandersville at some point. That morning, it was hard to find joy in anything. We opened our presents and just set them to the side. Although Brayer would have had no idea what was going on, it was just the fact that he was not there with us. I don't even think I can describe the emotions we were going through. Grief really is like a wave. It crashes over you and you can't catch your breath or hold back the tears. I tried to keep up with the amount of times we cried that day, but I lost count by lunchtime.

We spent about 2 hours at the cemetery with our sweet baby. We alternated between crying hysterically to little sniffles and tears. We cried for the loss of Brayer physically and the loss of memories to come. I think the phrase we said the most was "it is just not fair". It isn't fair that families get to celebrate Christmas with their loved ones and we forever have to visit ours in a cemetery. It isn't fair that we did everything right but, in the end, everything went wrong. It isn't fair that the child we waited on for 9.5 months only got to spend 2.5 months with us. Brayer spent longer in my body then he did out in the world. How is that fair for him or us?

The card, tree, and bear that Heather, Tiffany, Meagan, and Chelsea put on his grave. Talk about a tear jerking moment....

The details of that day aren't really important. But the emotions we felt are. Kyle and I seem to cry over different things. I get upset when I think about things we are missing out on now. Like how we spent our days and just being with him. Kyle cries about the future things lost, like t-ball games and going hunting. We cry together and we cry apart. We sit in the car and cry almost every time we leave social events. We went to see Christmas lights with some friends earlier in the week and then came home and cried. We went to Christmas Eve service and dinner with some friends, got in the truck and cried. After Christmas was over, we sat in the car in the driveway and just cried. You think the tears would run out, but on Christmas, they just kept coming.

While we were are the cemetary, I told Kyle we made it through the hardest Christmas. Everyone says the first year after you lose someone is the hardest. But what weighs me down the most is we will now see Christmas a hurdle rather than a celebration. Even when we are old and are celebrating with our children and their families, our minds will wonder to what life would have been like with Brayer. And that thought makes me really upset. We have been robbed of happy celebrations for the rest of our lives. We will learn how to enjoy time with loved ones and I am sure eventually it won't feel like we are faking it. But the peace of mind that we once enjoyed is now a thing of the past. We forever will shed tears on Christmas for our baby boy.

Some of the pictures from Brayer's Christmas photo session.


  1. May I share this on my blog? I shared when it happened and my friends all over the US were praying. There's so much that we should learn. The post you wrote about what to do/say and not to do/say was very helpful. I will respect your decision if you had rather me not share. Your raw pain and emotions are normal and necessary. I love you.

  2. You are more then welcome to share it! I honestly just do it for my own sanitity, but I'm glad it helps other people.

  3. You are amazing! Your honest words are helpful to all who read them! Brayer's Christmas photos are perfection...absolutely beautiful! My heart aches for you and your family! I am at a loss for words. I have prayed for y'all and certainly will continue. Love you!

  4. Mary Michael thank you for sharing this. As painful as it is it gives me better insight on how to pray for you and Kyle

  5. They are beautiful pictures. I'm thankful for each one.

  6. My heart goes out to you right now. I want to cry with you. I am so sorry that this happened. When I lost my husband, I felt anger too when I was other couples together. Thank you for being brave to share your pain. You are in my prayers.

  7. I'm here from Bonnies blog. She e-mailed me when Brayer passed and asked me to pray for all of you. It's good to see his pictures - what a sweetheart! I also appreciated your post on what to say and do. Thanks for sharing him with all of us. I'll continue to ray for you.

  8. I am so deeply sorry. Your little one is precious.