Saturday, December 22, 2007


Yet another year rolling to a close next week and I find myself devoid of Shitmas "cheer" completely this time around.

Think I am just spent, energy wise, and being jolly ('tis the season, I'm told) is just not up there on my list of must-do's.

Don't get me wrong, I am very happy about the pending move. I'm delighted that Steve, the LGBB and I get to spend our first uninterrupted (relatively - boom-tish) Christmas Day together because all the obligatories will be over with by Christmas Eve. And then we get to do what we want, with whomever we want. It's very refreshing.

But then, I also do still wonder how it's received. It must be difficult for the gingham-and-baked-pies set to accept that we don't want the traditional sit-down Shitmas fare anymore. I received the SANDS newsletter a couple of weeks ago. In it, one of the tips for surviving Shitmas was to know that it was okay to feel like you needed to break from old traditions. That we should do what we needed to do to get through this season, and that it was equally okay to allow others to do what they wanted/needed as well. Very sound advice.

Still, I wonder though: shouldn't this kind of advice via newsletters be going to the families of the family who's lost a baby, however long ago? It's just the one minor failing in this particular part of the process for mine. That I can read and be comforted that *I* am not alone, that my partner and my children are not alone. But what of the grannies, grandpas, aunts, uncles, cousins? Maybe they feel alone - as if they are the only ones trying to grapple with their various feelings surrounding the loss of a family member they never met. My sister never saw Ellanor. I wonder how that haunts her and if it does. I know it impacted me. But it's just how it happened.

So why can't there be some sort of register that your address goes on, as part of a very infrequent mailing list (even twice a year would be good), where the organisation sends out little beacons to those people too? Not just reminders about how to keep the continuity of care for the bereaved parents and brothers or sisters or subsequent children of the baby who's died. But also, I dunno... sort of like a shout-out to say "Hey. We know you hurt too and we acknowledge that."

Maybe it'd help things all round if an initiative like that was in existence. As if perhaps by giving them this, they'd have more in them to continue to give to the parents at the centre of the situation. Maybe not. But just maybe. And surely "maybe" is worth it.

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