Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Walking with You - through Christmas...

Kelly at The Beauty of Sufficient Grace is hosting a Christmas edition of "Walking with You", encouraging us to share how we remember our lost loved ones at Christmas time. This will be our 2nd Christmas without Seth and I'm still figuring out what I want to do, how best to honor and remember our sweet boy.

Last year, our first Christmas without Seth, would have also been Seth's first Christmas with us. I buy each of my kids a Hallmark ornament for Christmas. For their first 5 years, I buy the "my (1st, 2nd, etc) ornaments" and for the years after that, I buy the ornaments designed to have the school pictures in them. So I think I will get the first 5 years for Seth, as I have for the boys and am procuring for Kayleigh..

Last year's is already hanging on the tree. It looks like this: In addition to that, the boys and I picked out a Christmas stocking last year to hang and remember Seth. It's a Winnie the Pooh Baby's 1st Christmas and will hang on our "stocking tree" (we don't have a mantel) with all our other stockings each year.

Additionally, I received last year, and already this year, a couple of "memorial" ornaments from friends. I SO appreciate others remembering Seth and our loss and those are also hanging on our tree.

The boys and I both last year and this picked out Toys for Tots. I let each boy choose a toy they would have bought for Seth if he was with us for Christmas. Last year, we picked "baby toys". This year, Sean picked a "See N Say".. Cary picked an "Etch a Sketch".. Yeah, Seth might not have been ready for that one THIS Christmas, but I'm sure he would have been by next Christmas and I appreciate the effort!

It's become a tradition in our family to take the cousins to see Santa, when my sister is here for Thanksgiving with my nephew Jack. This is last years picture (when we were still numb and I hadn't yet started reading blogs and seeing what others do to remember their cherished lost babies):

And this years:

Did you see the difference? I mean, beside the fact that the kids are all bigger (and can you believe they're all THAT much bigger in YEAR? Where does time go?) We decided to take a stuffed animal or Seth's "magic blankie" to "represent" him. The boys chose to take a "surgery bear". This bear was given to us a the hospital, we got one before each of Seth's surgeries. They use them as educational tools and the boys, Cary especially, have shown a particular attachment to the surgery bear.. At any rate, that's something I'd like to add to our traditions..

I don't have any plans to do anything special at the cemetery but the boys usually like to pick out a "gift" at the dollar store and we take those "for" Seth.

So far, those are the things we're doing to honor and remember Seth. I suspect it'll change over the years and evolve but we're still early in this journey. Head on over to Kelly's to see what others are doing to remember the loved ones no longer with them.

I just want to add a couple of things... Christmas last year was SO painfully awful. I Really LOVE the poem ("I"m spending Christmas with Jesus this Year") that Kelly shared on her blog, and I find it/found it quite comfortiing. But it didn't/doesn't erase the fact that we don't get to have Seth with us for Christmas. I am comforted that he is in Heaven but Christmas, being all about a baby boy, was not an easy time. I am hoping/praying that this year is better.. God has begun healing my heart. I am calmer about Christmas but I don't expect to necessarily sail through. If you know someone who's missing a loved one this Christmas, even if it's not the first year, REMEMBER them. Let your friend or family member know that you care, that they aren't entirely alone in their hurt and sadness.

I do have GREAT hope. I KNOW that Seth is in Heaven and we will see him again. We couldn't have that hope without Christmas! Christ had to be born in order to save me and I am grateful. I don't know that I focused on THAT part of Christmas as much before Seth as I do now. Than you, God, for the gift of Christmas!


Holly said...

I like that you included a bear for Seth in the picture with Santa. That is a wonderful way to remember and I thought about doing the same for our Christmas picture this year but we never took one and decided not to send one out this year but instead just a picture of Carleigh.

It is nice when other people remember and give you ornaments. It means a lot.

Rachel said...

Thank you for paying me a visit!

I love that your boys pick out a gift for Toys for Tots; what a wonderful way to remember Seth. My favorite though has to be the teddy bear in the picture with santa. His presence is definitely there!

Thank you for your testamony of God's goodness through your loss. He really is in control, and it helps to be reminded of that by others. You will be in my prayers!

Jennifer Ross said...

I love the idea of taking that cute teddy bear and putting him in the picture. I have thought of doing something like that, but didn't know exactly what to add. I added Isaiah's name on the bottom of the Christmas picture of the boys last year. I really like the idea of the kids picking out a gift that they would have gotten for him too.

Remembering Seth with you...

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

I love the bear! What a great way to include and remember Seth in your Christmas picture. Also...wonderful... giving a toy to Toys for Tots from each child.

Nothing erases that missing place in our hearts...and I guess that spot is just evidence that we have loved someone special and dear. Of course someone so deeply loved would be dearly missed.

Praying that you will feel His comfort and peace in this Christmas season and in the coming year as He carries all of you...

Remembering Seth with you...and sending love and prayers....

Thank you for sharing your heart so beautifully with us,

croleyc69 said...

Thanx for stopping by my blog.
I really like that you used the bear in Santa's picture.
I also like your idea of the Toys for Tots picking something they would have bought for Seth.
Saying a prayer for you always and wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas.

Rebekah said...

I love the way you've included Seth and touched the lives of others because of him but I also really love the way you've included your other kids in remembering him. I think that is so important! I hope you have peace & comfort this Christmas!

Debbie said...

Thank you for sharing these memories and how you are coping during Christmas. Yes, it is comforting knowing that he is in heaven with Jesus. But I'm sure that ache for him will not completely subside until you get to see him in heaven.

Sending you hugs today Kathryn.


Jess said...

You have thought of some very special ways to honor Seth at Christmas time. That is really neat that you included the bear for Seth in the Christmas picture this year. We are probably skipping the Christmas portraits this time, but if we had done them we were thinking of doing the same thing. I hope God brings you lots of comfort and peace this Christmas as you miss and remember Seth, and celebrate Christ with your family.

Cecilia said...

I love the idea of including the bear in the picture. What a neat way to remember Seth. I know Christmas will be hard (honestly I'm not completely looking forward to it), but I hope He gives you some peace. Wishing you a blessed Christmas!