If you’ve landed here because you’re looking for an encouraging, uplifting holiday blog post about how “there’s always something to be thankful for”, you are in the wrong place. Go ahead and close your browser window. This one is not for you. I’ll get it out of the way and say that, of course, there are some things I am thankful for, but that’s not what this is about. This is about how disrespectful it is for others to shove their thankful agendas down my throat.
I didn’t realize until now how annoying it is to read a barrage of “thankful” quotes on Instagram and status updates on Facebook. I feel like my eyes are permanently rolled back in my head. It’s enough to make this loss mama to want to give the middle finger to this “holiday”. Make that double middle fingers. I can see why a lot of loss parents plan to escape this time of year, instead of spending the time with people who are still under the impression that there’s a silver lining in every experience.
Thanksgiving began as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and the previous year. I bet you’d find it challenging to be thankful for the year before if your year looked anything like mine. Grieving the loss of a son you only got to know for 2 weeks doesn’t leave a lot of room for giving thanks.
I imagine how different this year would be if Brady was here to celebrate with us. He’d be 10 months old and probably get a chance to sample some of the Thanksgiving “goods”. (I’ll use the term “goods” loosely, because if Brady was anything like his mom, he would’ve thought the food was nothing special.) This would be a fun season of firsts with him. Instead it’s full of constant reminders of everything we are missing out on. On top of all that, we’re being told we should be thankful for what we do have. It sounds pretty insensitive when I put it that way, right?
I know there are plenty of you reading this that also struggle with feeling joyful this time of year. So, for all of you that are out there having your own angry holiday, I’m with you. I’m sorry this sucks as much for you as it does for me. Don’t let anyone tell you that you need to be thankful or grateful. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for not having the sun shine out of your ass. Sometimes, it feels better to vent, and I am here to listen if you need it (via the comments or the contact form). I won’t lie, writing this post was pretty therapeutic.