Dear New Year,

Everyone is calling you happy. Everyone else is rejoicing in the fresh start, new beginning and adventures you are bringing them, but I am meeting you broken.

Dear New Year, my baby died and you do not feel happy or new

I lost my baby a few weeks before you appeared, and to me, you are not happy or fresh or new.

Time no longer applies to me. When grief fills every moment of every day, the hands on the clock are irrelevant—hours, days, a year—it’s doesn’t matter because it’s all different now.

If anything, I’m angry with you right now. You are the year I should have brought my baby home. You are the year that should have brought me happiness too. But instead, you’re just adding more and more time between the few moments I shared with my precious baby. And for that reason alone, I already dislike you.

The clean slate you presumably bring is already tear-soaked for me. It’s covered in sadness and pain and doesn’t feel anything like a new beginning.

But here’s the thing—I’m bigger than anything you can contain. I’m still breathing. I’m still alive. I’m going to keep moving—even though I’m hurting, even though I’m not sure what tomorrow will look like—I will keep moving.

The loss of my baby has changed me completely as a person. Yes, the emptiness has left me aching, hurting and grieving. But my baby has made me stronger. My baby has marked my life forever, so I am walking into you courageously.

My template for you will look differently than it does for others. While others are focused on gym memberships, breaking bad habits or going on vacation, you and I will have a very unique, constantly evolving relationship. Some days I will hate you. Other days I will love you.

But no matter what, you will be the year I survived.

You will be the year I saw tiny glimpses of beauty in a dense jungle of pain. I will see details others will miss because I have been where many others have not.

I will not define myself by other’s expectations. I will not place my loss or grief or healing in the hands of others. My timeframe and my journey are mine and I alone will own them.

You will be the year I take care of myself.

I will be kind to myself. I will build boundaries to guard my heart and mind. I will look at myself in the mirror and admire the strength I see. I will remember where I’ve been. I will remind myself that I am brave—and that I am enough just the way I am right now. I do not need to change for anyone. I do not need to act a certain way for anyone. My heart is what matters and I will protect it.

Even though I am carrying in heaviness—heavier than anyone could imagine—you will be my year also. I will find room within you to breathe. I will make space to grow. And on hard days, I will make my own time…to just be.

Dear New Year, I’m not completely sure how I feel about you right now, but I look forward to getting to know you a little bit more.

Sincerely,

A grieving, but courageous momma

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