The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and celebration, but they can be an especially trying time for those who have lost a baby or pregnancy. Navigating the holidays after your loss can be hard enough, but it’s even more stressful when you don’t know what to say or do in front of your family or friends, who might not understand what you’re going through.
When will I feel ready?
The holidays are supposed to be happy and celebratory, but they can also be difficult. You may not feel ready to celebrate yet or like celebrating with family members who don’t know what has happened. It’s hard to know when you’ll feel prepared for the holidays after a miscarriage – it depends on your own timeline and your family’s. We recommend taking things slowly and talking with your loved ones about how they want to handle this time of year to figure out the best plan.
Miscarriages happen during all seasons of life, so if you’re feeling particularly vulnerable this time of year, here are some ways that we think will help:
- Permit yourself to politely decline if someone offers you a present or decoration intended for the child.
- Bring up how you are feeling before opening cards, so people know how much is too much information.
- Be mindful of giving gifts that require an explanation, such as baby clothes.
- Accept help preparing food by asking others what recipes they would enjoy making together.
What do I tell people?
The holidays can be tricky for those who have lost their child, especially if this is their first holiday without their child. It’s important to remember that everyone grieves differently, and some people may not know how to support you or what you need. Although you may not want to talk about your loss with people, you might find that it helps to tell people what you’re going through. If someone asks about your child, feel free to mention them and tell them that it’s okay if they don’t say your child in return.
Do I have to spend time with my family?
No, you don’t have to spend time with your family. You can always spend time at home and catch up on some sleep or watch your favorite show. If it makes you feel better, you can always send them an email or text to let them know that you’re thinking of them and that they’ll be in your thoughts this holiday season. Letting them know how much they mean to you is also important because oftentimes, people forget about their loved ones when they’re busy getting ready for the holidays. It’s easy for people to become wrapped up in their own lives, and we need to remind ourselves that this is about our loved ones too!
Should I go out with friends?
Try to gauge how you’re feeling on any given day. If you feel up to it, go out with friends and family and have a good time! But don’t push yourself too hard. If you’re feeling sad and lonely, it might be best to stay in. Spend some time with yourself or your partner if they can be there for you. Remember that holidays are all about being together as a family – so even if you’re not feeling up to the company, try to make an effort for your loved ones’ sake.
How do I get through this day without crying?
While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, there are some things you can do to make it easier. First, try not to compare this holiday season to last year’s. It’s important that you don’t dwell on what you don’t have and focus on what you do have. This time of year is about family and friends; with or without children, we all need to be surrounded by people who love us. If you’re feeling down or lonely, reach out and find someone who will listen to or watch a movie with you.
Can I still have fun?
I know holidays can be tricky, and I want to reassure you that having fun is okay. The holidays are about love, family, and sharing time with those who matter most. It’s also important to take care of yourself during this time. Do what makes you feel good – if that means buying gifts for others or spending time with friends and family, then go for it. If your heart is telling you something different, listen to that. This is also a time when you can make your loss a part of your holiday season. These miscarriage care packages are an excellent outlet to grieve as you honor the little one you just lost. You can choose to do it alone, with family, or with friends. Whoever feels right to you should be the people around for this moment.
I hope these tips will help you to have a happy and healthy holiday season, even after experiencing such an unexpected loss. Be sure to take care of yourself and surround yourself with people that are kind, supportive, and understanding.