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