We are getting to the point where we need to decide what we are doing for the holidays. Going home to family is a plane ride away, and I want none of it. We are getting to the point where we should book if we want to go before the prices rocket up, but my husband and I have decided that we don’t want to travel this year. We wanted to go home for Christmas last year, but with Caroline’s condition we wanted to stay close to my OB. So you would think that we’d be itching to go home this year… but we’re not.
The thought of watching nephews open presents without Caroline there to grab at the paper ties my stomach into knots. The looks of pity, or worse, of “why aren’t they over it yet?” from family and friends would be too much to handle. I’m not trying to say that my family is mean or that they would try to hurt me, but I know I would see it in their eyes. I would feel like my grief was on display and know I’d be the gossip point of the month. “How is Kristina doing?” “She seems okay, I saw her laughing and smiling so it looks like she’s getting over it.” “I don’t know, I saw her leave the room when the boys were opening presents and she didn’t come back for a while.” “I heard her crying in the bathroom.”
Maybe it is the grief talking but a quiet Christmas at home with my husband and Caroline’s ashes is all that I feel I can handle this year. Maybe if I went home I would find my family to be incredibly supportive and I’d have a great Christmas, but I don’t think I’m ready for that. I need this season to miss my daughter and be permitted to feel what I need to feel. If I want to cry all day, I want to be able to do that.
Hopefully I will feel up to going home for Christmas next year, but this first Christmas needs to be ours. If anyone has suggestions for getting through that first holiday season, I’d love to hear them.
Missing you always, Miss Caroline.