Thanksgiving wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t really good either.  Not the fun holiday I have enjoyed for the last 36 years.  When I arrived at my parents’ house, my dad asked, “Are you okay?” which I appreciated as it acknowledged that this Thanksgiving was different.  I tried to stay busy in the kitchen with my mom.  Before we sat down to eat, we stood in a circle and held hands to pray.  My dad kept it pretty short (possibly because my sister’s semi-new boyfriend was with us for the first time and he doesn’t believe in God:( ).  He prayed for God to help us to find things to be thankful for this year.  That was pretty good.  But I had secretly wished beforehand that he would mention Luke in his prayer this day.  Something like, “Thank you for our Luke who is in heaven with you”.  I just wanted a mention.

When we started to eat, my dad said he wanted us all to state what we were most thankful for this year.  I did not like this.  My mom immediately said, “To start with, we are all here!” My heart felt stabbed–We are all here?!  It is so glaring to me that we are NOT all here.  I know she didn’t mean anything bad by it and she misses Luke too, but it still bothered me.

As my dad went around the table asking what we are most thankful for this year, no one other than my mom really had a clear answer for him.  When he got to me, I said that I didn’t know, but I guess Josh.  (I am thankful for him, of course, but I that felt like a generic, cop-out of an answer).  As I sat there and we continued to eat, my heart urged that it is Luke I am most thankful for.  How could I not have had that answer immediately?  It felt like a betrayal to him not saying so.  As soon as my sister’s boyfriend left to go to the bathroom (he actually has lost a baby too with his ex-wife, but I don’t know him very well so I feel awkward being very personal in front of him), I blurted that I wanted to change my answer and I was most thankful for Luke.  This made me start to cry so I sat looking at my hands and crying, while my sister rubbed my back. It was quiet for a minute.  It was a little awkward, but I was glad to finally have his name mentioned on the holiday.

Here is what he would have worn yesterday.

Thanksgiving outfit

I did have a few happier moments laughing at the annual dog show we traditionally watch and snapping my sister’s hot pink thong underwear as she crawled on the floor wiping up a spill.

I am very thankful for you friends in this loss community.  I am so glad to be able to connect with people who really do understand.  I think of you all often and pray for you.  I hope you made it through yesterday with at least some little moments of calm and peace and hopefully even joy.  At least we have one down!


7 thoughts on “Thanksgiving

  1. Today my husband and I went to his side for Thanksgiving and they asked if the ‘Johnson’ side would get together around grandma and grandpa for a picture… They shouted, “We are so happy everyone is here!” and “Grab all the babies for a picture!” It is just heart wrenching. Our loved ones don’t mean to make us hurt more, but somehow it still does. I am so thankful that my family didn’t go around the table and say what we are thankful for this year. That must have been so hard. I have to keep reminding myself that even though my baby is gone, I still have many things to be thankful for. They are just hard to see in the darkness… Thinking of you ❤

  2. This is why we stayed in our own house this year. My mum is here from Ireland, and we just had a nice, relaxing day. She was just as devastated about Taidgh as we were. It was nice not to feel awkward if I felt like crying, or talking about our precious boy. I think if we’d have done the usual husband’s side of the family giant crazy, I’d’ve ot been able to stand the glossing over of a major life event.

    I don’t want a pity party, it’s not all about me, but I don’t want to feel bad about talking about both of my children. And if that means I can’t do holidays this year then I won’t.

  3. You put your finger on what I have been trying to. I hated the “what are you thankful for” this year. And having others say they are thankful we are all here is hard, because we aren’t.

  4. Oh, I was so scared my Dad was going to make us all go around the table and say what we were thankful for. So glad he didn’t this year. I’m glad you had the courage to change your answer. I am also thankful for your Luke and I love his Thanksgiving outfit. I actually showed that picture of his outfit to some of my family members while I was reading your post (most of them know who baby Luke is.) They loved it but they all felt sad that Luke never got to wear it.

  5. Our family sometimes goes around the table and to say what we are thankful for. It also depends on what family we are spending Thanksgiving with. I was dreading having to say what I am most thankful for, because I did not want to start crying and make others cry. We ended up not going around the table but I am most thankful for my son in heaven and how much his life has meant to us and will forever change us. I am also thankful for Luke and the other babies in Heaven whose mom’s write these wonderful, beautiful blogs.

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