This post is going to sound a bit harsh and kind of shitty, this post is me venting about our holiday in grief.
This was our first holiday season without Harrison. The first major holiday we had to get through in grief. You know what I heard so incredibly often?
What does that even mean? Does that mean I should just brush off my sadness and just be happy? I LIVE HERE. I can’t just brush off my sadness, especially in my first holiday season.
I really tried my best to be happy and keep shit together. It was hard. I cried many times on the way home from work and many times at home. There were many days I felt like I was just breathing and surviving. I wanted so bad and tried so hard to keep shit together for Ava so that way she wouldn’t remember this year as the most depressing year.
On November 30th I ordered a super cute baby angel ornament-handmaid and personalized (see picture above) from a seller off Etsy-HollyLeafLittles-the seller has since changed their name. Shocking, right? I thought this would be enough time to receive it before Christmas. I messaged the seller with some questions to clarify colors and whatnot. The week before Christmas, I had not heard back from the seller at all, I messaged her again and she promptly got back to me that the order would ship the next day. I asked if she thought it would come before Christmas, which that is what was promised on the website when I ordered. She told me it could not be guaranteed once it was released to usps. Well why did it specifically say on the website if ordered before a certain date, it would arrive before Christmas? She asked if I wanted to cancel the order, which I said no, the ornament was handmade and it was really cute, although I was disappointed and unhappy that the information on the website was clearly wrong. I expressed my distaste with the communication on the website…and the seller proceeded to cancel my order. She told me that because I would leave her a bad review, she would cancel the order on her end. She also proceeded to tell me she is a one woman show doing 250+ orders every month and simply couldn’t handle it. If you are familiar with Etsy and their policies, if you have an issue with your order/seller at the last minute and the seller cancels your order, you cannot leave them a review. Bullshit right? You can also see the amount of sales the seller has had since they started selling on Etsy. This particular seller had roughly 200 sales in her Etsy career. Bravo to her for the booming business!! If things are that great- hire help! Or maybe CHANGE the info on your website to accommodate your BOOM in orders. I contacted Etsy customer service regarding the problem, I wanted to leave a review. In the end I wasn’t able to leave a review. I checked back a week later and checked the sellers website-the name was changed! Clearly this person couldn’t handle the bad review, (maybe even multiple bad reviews) and honestly I am even questioning if she even made the order. So here’s my review! Don’t order from that liar. Below is the new name, cute right?
When the ornament fell through, I tried to find Ava and Harrison matching stockings. Being that it was last minute, this didn’t work out as I planned, but it worked out okay.
We received some very touching and sweet holiday cards and I am so thankful for that. People included my little Harrison and they did not say things like “be positive” or “Stay strong”. They simply said beautiful things acknowledging our missing piece- “we know this year is going to be hard for you” “we are thinking of all of you, missing Harrison”.
What crushed my soul was when my sweet Ava made a personalized ornament for Harrison. She drew it on a piece of paper and wrapped it so sweetly for us. She asked a lot if Santa would bring gifts for Harrison. I told her I wasn’t sure. So she made him some gifts, out of paper. All wrapped up and everything, she opened them for him on Christmas morning.
We ended up participating in a gift drive through a local school which donated the gifts to kids at the same hospital Harrison was in the NICU. I felt happy to donate, but man, it made me feel empty. It’s the season of giving, but those are things we had hoped to give to him.
My question for the experienced grievers out there, what are the ways you honor and remember your loved one? Child, husband, friend, any kind of loss. Please share!
We usually host Christmas Eve for some of our family and it’s a pretty good party. Lots of food, gifts, laughing and fun. It is a lot of work. We did not host this year. I knew I would not be able to handle the cooking, cleaning, prep work, etc. Half my family understood, the other half called me a grinch. Be POSITIVE! This post leads to my next post-what to say VS what not to say.
Overall the holiday blew. I am thrilled they are over, yes, that probably does make me a grinch, but honestly I don’t even care. If people can’t understand that, then they’re the problem. Here’s to being sad!
Thank you for enjoying or hating my venting.