Unfulfilled Christmas Wishes

Editorial by David Kellin, editor@pantagraph.online

They fly across the social media streams, and my heart hurts a bit more. The smiling pictures of the children in Christmas and holiday plays. College kids sharing the successful completion of the semester and headed for home. Ugly sweater and holiday parties. They serve as the reminder of the unfulfilled Christmas wishes.

I wish I could have rocked my babies to sleep to a lullaby beside the tree.

I wish I could have spent all night assembling the bike or dollhouse.

I wish I could have sat recording the clumsy lines at the school play.

I wish I could have decorated cookies, and eaten half before they were ready.

I wish I could have taken them out to eat with their “Christmas” dates.

I wish I could have stood at the window to watch them drive home for the holidays.

I wish we all could have fallen asleep on the couch stuffed and watching Christmas movies.

No, doing those things now with other people does not feel the same. Watching other children in a school play is not the same as watching yours.

“The Bereaved”? I am not sure what to call us. Parents who have lost children? Through many situations, parents will have to experience a child’s death. The experience becomes a new reality. Things and thoughts that were once commonplace, now have added meaning. Meanings that take years to process and adapt to.

Chandler would have been 19 this year. Born at 20 weeks, he was born still. Sara would be 18 this year. A senior in High School and getting ready for all the dances and proms.

Every so often, when the mood strikes, I write about them, and my reactions as a grieving father. My hope is that by sharing my thoughts and story, several things will happen.

  1. Parents who still have their children will cherish then more and love each and every moment shared.
  2. Bereaved will know they are not alone, and that there are many of us who shared the challenges.
  3. To be able to say my children’s names once again and honor their memories.

I don’t want you to get all sad and depressed. I have you to recognize the extremely positive blessing to have your children close this year. Put down the phones and read a book together, or mess up the kitchen making cookies. Don’t look back and wish you could have… Do it now while you have this time and moment.

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