Navigating Christmas after the Loss of a Child

Christmas means many things to many people these days! New, well-marketed traditions are here to stay whether we want them to or not, but it is up to us as individuals to continue to live our lives how we want to, true to our personal life values rather than feeling pressured into keeping up with the Jones’.

Screen Shot 2016-12-11 at 09.31.53.png

One of the most wonderful aspects of Christmas, is that it‘s often a time when families make the effort to come together. Needless to say, when someone you love is then absent, for whatever reason, the stark reality hits you during this time of ‘togetherness’ like a knife through the heart.

 

It feels like there is no escape for us, music in supermarkets pound out “All I want for Christmas is You”, School Nativity plays are cast with one less Shepherd, the empty stocking lies in a box, never again to be hung out for Father Christmas. It has, for us, now become a time of year, where we have to pull out all the stops to create a magical and hopeful environment for Jesse and Flynn, but that does mean supressing our building emotions of desperation and loss. I can only imagine that this must be the same for a great number of other people who are not ‘living the dream’ at Christmas time and our hearts go out to you. I recently saw two Christmas T-shirts in shop windows, one which said “I Want it All”, and the other “Do Nothing this Christmas”. These are certainly not the values we wish Jesse and Flynn to grow up with / nor the ones Skye held.

Screen Shot 2016-12-11 at 08.33.55.png

As a family, we have our goals, and we cannot lose focus until they are reached, but we would never want our friends and supporters to feel we were pressurising anyone into our cause. I say this on the back of a school ground conversation I had with a mum the other week where she was exasperated by "yet another charity day", and the hassle of having to find a Children in Need outfit and to donate £1.

Jesse - age 5 - Elizabeth's Footprints Children's Intensive Care Unit

Jesse - age 5 - Elizabeth's Footprints Children's Intensive Care Unit

Skye - age 4 - Children in Need

Skye - age 4 - Children in Need

I don’t suppose I was quite the sympathetic ear she had hoped for, as I have always felt it incredibly important for schools to promote a ‘caring for others’ attitude that we wish our own children to adopt, and I for one feel glad when a fun event can be coupled with doing some practical good! The money for bringing about change comes from these very type of events. The amount of luxury purchases made at Christmas just highlights how we can all find a bit of spare change if we are motivated to do so.

 

What Andrew and I have discovered over the past two years is that fundraising is a tough gig! It takes an inordinate amount of energy, courage and bloody mindedness to keep things afloat and we would like to take this opportunity to thank each and everyone one of you who have stood by us in one way or another most sincerely.

Happy Families - Skye and his cousin - Christmas 2011

We very much hope that passionately sharing our new found knowledge, of an area which has been neglected for so long, sharing Skye’s humour, good natured spirit, and will to help other children, is what drives you to continue to walk with us, especially at this difficult time.

Please don't ever stop thinking and talking about Skye, we love seeing his name included in Christmas cards. It means so much!

We would like to share with you a video which we have held back until now as we were worried some may find it distasteful but it was a very true to life snapshot of how we all tried so hard as a family to keep silliness in our hearts and minds in order to enable Skye to giggle and laugh just as a child should do. We hope it makes you laugh too this Christmas….