You Should Be Here


I look around the room with stinging eyes, the hot tears threatening to spill over at any second making the twinkling lights of the Christmas tree blur like a blizzard before my eyes. The smell of a winter candle fills my nostrils – the clove, the cinnamon, the pine. Christmas music dances through the room and steals my thoughts but only for a second. I urge it to take me away for a moment longer but alas, I am thrown back to the now. The perfectly wrapped presents, the garland, the nativity scene, the table set awaiting the arrival of family, the precious ornaments, the stockings hung above the crackling fire.

You should be here.

From the outside everything looks perfect. But it’s not.  

There should be three stockings hanging.




Even though your dad and I talked for YEARS about baby names, we never agreed upon one. But I know that, in time, we would have finally found the perfect one for you, my sweet baby, and it would have been beautifully embroidered on your Pottery Barn stocking and hung on the mantel with care but that was not meant to be. So this year, there are just two.  

You should be here.

I see the gifts under the tree and I feel them glaring back at me in mockery.  I would trade all of those gifts and more to have you here. You were the only gift I wanted.  You were to be our Christmas baby.  

It just seemed so fitting. You, the baby conceived after 4 years of fertility treatments, to be born a few days before Christmas.  

Our Christmas miracle.  

The only gift I wanted.  


In your short little life inside me, you made me a mommy.

You should be here.  

We should be hanging up a “Baby’s First Christmas” ornament but we hang an “in remembrance” ornament instead. We should be sleep deprived, navigating being new parents, shushing you, laughing about diaper blow outs, looking at each other in disbelief that we had no idea what we were doing and yet feeling so overwhelmed with awe that we were chosen to be your parents and that you were finally here. Oh what I would have given up for that “picture perfect” Christmas morning for one of chaos because chaos would have meant that you were here and that would have been perfect to me.    

You should be here.

The holidays, as joyous and celebratory as they can be for some people, are incredibly isolating and lonely for others. Women so desperately wanting to become moms tend to avoid malls and family gatherings like the plague. The thought of seeing one more pregnant belly, a festively dressed toddler awaiting to see Santa and the dreaded question from a family member about when they are going to start a family is just too much. All of the glitter, gifts and glitz seem cheap and meaningless compared to a hearts desire unable to be fulfilled.

So to those of you who are grieving something this holiday season whether it be the first holiday without a loved one, a miscarriage, infertility, a failed adoption, a still birth, a strained relationship, a divorce, your health, and the list could go on.  Please, be kind to yourself.  And to those of you who are able to fully embrace the holidays, remember those who may be struggling and mourning some loss, reach out.  A card, a cup of coffee, a remembrance ornament, a home cooked meal, a hug, something.  Something to remind them they are not alone.