Last Friday, I, and Steven Guy, the co-ordinator for SandsNI, visited a Minister to talk about holding a Christmas Carol Service in Fermanagh. You have to get in early!! It was welcomed very positively, which is fantastic.
I know it is too early to be talking Christmas (although planning for a Christmas Carol Service next year is already underway!!), but, I cannot wait to attend a Christmas Carol Service. It will be special because it will be catered to parents who are missing a child; parents of children who are no longer here. And, not just parents. Grandparents, Aunties and Uncles, Godparents who never got the chance to step into the role, or other people in the community who want to come and lend support to people they know who have lost a child. But, of course, everybody is welcome.
I have looked over the order of service and I already know that I am going to shed more than one tear. The readings are emotional. And, I think that they are more emotional because of who they are about and aimed at. How am I going to 'hold it together'?
You know how? I am not. I cannot wait. I always think releasing all the pent up emotion is good for the soul. I think it is a huge relief to get it off the chest. And, I think that it is extremely beneficial, mentally and emotionally, to let the grief out. Just let it out. Sometimes we do not show emotions or let the tears out because we are worried about how other people will feel. Maybe they will be uncomfortable seeing me cry?
But, you know what, it is not about them. It is about you. It all comes back to you and your baby. It all comes back to me and my baby.
This Christmas Carol Service will be the icing on my year. I hope that other people will come and celebrate the babies that are no longer with us. Christmas is a special time of year, but it is also extremely emotional. The whole idea of Christmas does not really fit in with Patrick not being here - so much happiness and anticipation alongside grief and sadness and loss.
But, I can make happy memories around Patrick, even if he never got to celebrate a Christmas. This is what the Service is about. Patrick will finally be able to be apart of Christmas. A whole evening for him, and all the other babies that he is playing with.
Like I said, I cannot wait! Will you join me?