Monday, November 21, 2005

Holiday Bill of Rights for Grieving Parents

I have the right to go from estatic to tears in 30 seconds.

I have the right to be excited about going holiday shopping, only to get there & need to leave because of a panic attack.

I have the right to not be joyful every single moment or day of the holiday season.

I have the right to not send out Christmas cards, AGAIN.

I have the right to NOT listen to Christmas music when I can't bear it.

I have the right to be quiet, continue to grieve my child & be alone when I need to.

I have the right to choose not to participate in gift exchanges and holiday celebrations at my place of work, worship, or anywhere else.

I have the right to look for & feel joy & love in the holidays & my life, just please don't try & force it on me. I'll find it on my own.

I have the right to want to buy my child a Christmas present and take it to the cemetery.

I have the right to buy the present and decide that I can't bear to take it to the cemetery.

I have the right to get to my family's house late and leave early.

I have the right to walk outside and get away for a bit of fresh air when it gets to be too overwhelming.

I have the right to include my child in any activity that I want without getting the "funny looks".

I have the right to be angry.

I have the right to be alone with my child and not have to explain why I want to be alone.

I have the right to laugh at unexpected times and hug a pillow and talk to myself when I am remembering.

I have the right to long to have my child back, to have the life I once had.

I have the right to find a way to honor and remember my child during the holidays by whatever ritual I feel comfortable with.

I have the right to be me...the one who now exists.

4 comments:

R said...

beautiful. I am going to call her and am really, really nervous. I just don't know what to say. Your honesty is SO awesome.

R

kate said...

Very, very true.

lauralu said...

i have the right to skip extended family gatherings altogether. which is exactly what i'm doing.

cat said...

You have all of those any any others that you need. *hugs*