The holidays have come and gone. Andy and I were thankful for a lot of things last year, like JJ. Even in our loss we know we are blessed to have had him. We are thankful for our health. Our family. Our friends – old and new. And the friendship and support our family and friends have shown us during the most difficult time of our lives.
But, truthfully, we weren’t excited about Christmas in 2016. We were looking forward to making memories with our son on what was to be his first Christmas. I am a planner, and so even before he was born I had visions of what Christmas would look like. I would buy him little gifts even if he was too young to understand. He would have his own stocking and a “baby’s first Christmas” ornament for our tree. I already had purchased a few winter outfits for him (what can I say, I like to buy items on sale). But most importantly, we would be a family of three this year.
Sadly, all of that is gone except for those outfits that are still hanging in his closet. For those who have lost a loved one, Christmas can be difficult to get through and fully enjoy. I was right there with you. So, in memory of Jensen and all of his angel friends, we dedicated our Christmas tree to all of our friends’ babies who are gone too soon.
I needed a project to focus my energy on this holiday season, and what better way to honor and remember all of the babies who aren’t here to celebrate Christmas with their families. One thing that has helped me through these last several months is talking with other moms who have lost their babies. I’ve received so much love and support from these fellow loss moms, and I can’t tell you how much it means to me when one of them sends me a picture with Jensen’s name. These gestures honestly warm my heart and make my day.
So, we made individualized ornaments in their babies’ memory (below). Many parents provided symbols and colors that remind them of their child. We did our best to personalize each ornament so it was extra meaningful. Our tree is filled with the names of all of our sweet angels. They are remembered this Christmas with so much love.
All ornaments are posted in the gallery for download. Please feel free to share and post these pictures.
You can read more about the making of the tree in the following six blog posts. I also share some of the stories behind the ornaments: The Making of a Tree , Another First, Feathers, Glue Dots and Sparkly Beads, Feeling Connected, and The Completion of the Angel Tree.
Thank you to one of my closest friends (who wants to remain anonymous) for donating money to cover expenses. Thank you also to my friend Dana for spending a Saturday morning with me in making these ornaments.
And thank you to all of the angel parents for letting me honor your child. Although they are gone, they are not forgotten. They are forever loved.
Our local newspaper wrote about our Angel Tree in our local newspaper, the Farmington Press. Read the story below.