Remembering Layne This Christmas
Christmas comes just 8 months after our sweet Layne passed away. And to be 100% transparent, I have been struggling with the holidays this year. As I looked forward to all the festivities and plans, I really didn’t know how I was going to get through them. I have good days and bad days. However, I think my feelings can ultimately be summed up as: a feeling of disappointment and feeling like there is something big missing. Naturally, there were so many things we were excited for and looking forward to this Christmas with Layne. To not have him here (and to have the constant reminder that he isn’t), it’s just been hard.
Let me be clear, I don’t think I’ve ever felt angry or upset with God about what happened with Layne. My tears and feelings don’t reflect a lack of faith. I actually feel like my faith is now stronger than it has ever been. But rather, I consider my grief to be my flesh’s natural response to brokenness in a broken world. I love that Nancy Guthrie says, “Tears are a gift from God that help to wash away the deep pain of loss.” If you’re the loved one of someone walking through grief this holiday season, I invite you to read this article I found by Nancy Guthrie about ‘What Grieving People Wish You Knew at Christmas.’
I know where Layne is, and I know he’s okay. In reality, he’s doing better than the rest of us. For that, I praise God for – because of His son, I have the hope and confidence that I’ll get to see mine again one day. Quite frankly, I’m even a bit jealous that He gets to go to Jesus’s birthday party. But when you endure the loss of a child, one of your worst fears is that they will be forgotten.
One of the hardest parts of going into the holiday season was just the fact that he wasn’t going to be here to be a part of them. I so desperately wanted to include him in the festivities like every mom gets to do with their baby, but I didn’t know how. One of my friends gave me the idea that I should come up with a tradition that I could realistically do to include Layne in the holidays each year. Thankfully, I had Rob and I’s family to help me — and this year we’ve started some new traditions to remember Layne during the holidays.
A Way to Remember Your Lost Baby This Christmas
If you know me, the holidays are my jam. They always have been – especially Christmas. So I’ve been thinking of ways to realistic ways I could still include Layne in Christmas each year since I’m not able to do any of the normal ‘mom’ things. Thankfully, I had Rob and I’s family to help me — and this year we’ve started some new traditions to remember Layne during the holidays. I hope this also helps you also remember your angel baby (or lost loved one) this holiday season.
My Christmas decor is very much styled. Rob and I haven’t really collected ornaments like we may have grown up. However, it is something we wanted to start doing. Last year as we dreamed of this Christmas, I had decided that I wanted to start a kid / family Christmas tree where our children would pick out an ornament each year and decorate the tree. Along with that, we talked about so many other traditions we wanted to start this year. But not getting to start that this year was one of the most disappointing things.
At first, I didn’t think I’d be able to start that this year. I broke down countless times in stores like Hobby Lobby passing by the baby boy ornaments. However, I soon realized that it was something I needed to do. So while Layne isn’t physically here with us, Rob and I decided to buy a little 4 ft tree from Walmart and start the tradition this year – and I’m so glad now that I did.
When we went to Walmart to get the tree, the coolest little God-wink happened. As we were pacing through the store looking for an ornament for Layne’s first Christmas, this little ornament (below) was sitting out in the open on one of the shelves all by himself. We walked around forever to see where it came from so I could look at other options, but we couldn’t find them anywhere. I really believe it was like God placed him right there on purpose… like this little ornament would’ve been the ornament that Layne would have picked. And it was absolutely perfect!
Another thing we did this year that I would like to continue are family portraits including Layne’s memory. Rob and I actually originally decided to cancel our own Christmas card pictures this year — we just couldn’t imagine taking a family photo and having such a huge part of us missing this year to remind us of the hard year we’ve had. Meanwhile, while we visited Rob’s family over the Thanksgiving holiday, we took family pictures with Rob’s entire family. Everyone decided to wear a yellow bracelet in memory of Layne, and it was so sweet. It made it feel like he was included even though we were unable to have him there. I really hope to continue that each time we do family portraits now.
You can read more about the color yellow and what it means to our story by reading Layne’s birth story, HERE.
If you’re also walking into this holiday season with the grief of the loss of your child, I am so sorry. I’m SO sorry. I wish I could give you a huge hug and cry real and raw tears with you- because friend, I know your pain. It’s the kind of pain you wouldn’t even wish on your worst enemy. I know it’s hard to think about the holidays without your baby. The thought of doing anything this year to remember them may even be too much for you right now. That’s okay. But I hope this post, when you’re ready, helps you take that step to remember your angel this holiday season.