Christmas layout


Well, this week has been a bit manic, to say the least. Between UKS sponsorship stuff, Christmas stuff, DD’s Ice Show stuff (7 hours yesterday, including 2 hours stuck on the M4 behind an accident) and other school stuff (3 hours yesterday) updating my blog has slipped to the bottom of the list! I have to assume it is much the same for most people. But I thought I would add a Christmas layout today, one that was in SI last year and which is still a favourite.

We had a son in 1991 who died shortly after birth due to a heart defect. It was a sad time for us, as anyone who has experienced something like it will know, and we still deal with that great sadness now 19 years later at a few expected times of the year. Looking at DS at nearly 17 tends to make us wonder what our other son might have been like had he lived.

I remember at the time I wrote a couple of very long posts on a pre-cursor to forums, the news group.

Bizarrely, I had a look, purely on a whim, and they can still be found in an archive (somewhat scary to think that anything you put on the web could still be found so many years  later). They make painful reading, given that they were written in the throes of early stage grief. If you are feeling curious you can find them here and here but there are pretty detailed and pretty raw, so honestly, don’t click on the links unless you are mentally prepared.  Seems I am still warning people not to read them – I did that when I wrote them as well. All these years later, I thought I might not be affected, at least not seriously, by re-reading those posts but in fact I have tears streaming down my face.

One of the traditions we began that first Christmas was to buy a special heart shaped ornament every year for our Christmas tree.  Finally, only last year, I documented that tradition in a layout:

Only a few of my favourite ones – the calendar is a flap that opens up to reveal a very short version of the story (more of a “Just the facts, Ma’m” version). The hearts were all printed then cut out and some pop-dotted.  The greenery is a few bits of an old Christmas tree.  I’m looking for this year’s heart every time I see ornaments.

A bit of a downer, this one so I suspect it’s a good thing not too many people actually read my blog  {smile}

9 thoughts on “Christmas layout

  1. Oh i love this! (followed the link from my thread on UKS). The hearts are such a fitting symbolic gesture. I didn’t read the links. I have trouble reading my own blog entries from when we lost Zane & Ada, so i will not look for now. Perhaps when i am more in the “mood” i will come back. I know some people will find it bizarre that we can have a “mood” for such things, but i am sure you will know what i mean. Love to you. xxx

  2. Thank you for sharing those posts. I am incredibly touched and moved. I don’t know what else to say – I recognise too many of those raw emotions I’m afraid. But I do hope you have managed to find some peace in the intervening years. The heart shaped ornaments are lovely – a fitting tribute.

  3. It’s a beautiful idea, Mary Anne and one I may adopt for my lovely Mum. I didn’t click your links as I didn’t want to intrude on your grief. I can only imagine how it must be to lose a child – it’s hard enough losing a parent.

    Huge hugs.

  4. I think it is a lovely idea to collect those tree ornaments.

    A friend of mine lost her son a couple of years ago and she leaves a wrapped present on his grave on christmas eve but she says it is really heart wrenching to go back and remove it. I might suggest your idea to her.

  5. It’s only as you get to know people that you realise that so many have hard moments at Christmas… I always thought it was just me and everyone else was fa la la la-ing away happily. I have to admit that a few days ago I finally got round to opening the last SI I had still in its plastic wrapper (well, to be fair, I only collected it a few months back when home in Scotland) and saw this page and thought it was a wonderful idea…. you can imagine the deja vu feeling when I opened your blog just now!!

  6. I love your tree ornaments – what a lovely way to remember your son at Christmas time.

  7. Just wanted to send you a hug xxx

  8. Maryanne, I only managed to read the first post and it made me cry, bless you for sharing such a difficult time in your life. I love the heart shaped ornament tradition it’s one we can all learn from.



  9. sending you big hugs maryanne…and i wanted to say how brave you are to share this story…you’re heart shaped ornament traditions is an idea i love…and i’m going to suggest to my DH that we do the same as he lost his mum earlier this year. {{{{{{{{big love}}}}}}}}} alixxxx

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