Okay, I'm sort of in a quandry. It's really not a quandry because being faced with what we have been faced with, the question of whether or not to send out Christmas cards is nothing I'm going to waste much energy over. There are much more important things.....you know what I mean.
The question of whether or not to send Christmas cards to our traditional list weighs heavily on 2 things: a) who is on that list and b) what is on the card. I made a card on Snapfish that I thought looked really neat. But I made the card because of where I am at in my grieving. I am to a point where I want people to know about my Chase, people that I have not talked to, some for years, but I keep in touch with once a year through an exchange of holiday photos or cards. Having said that, I don't know how much I want to share and, let's face it, I don't really know that I want to or that I should or that I have anything to celebrate through a Christmas card greeting. Of course I have a lot to celebrate. But how can you celebrate when you are greiving? And sending out a Christmas card is kind of like celebrating the past year, right?
The card has a family snapshot taken earlier today at church, a couple snapshots that represent Chase and one of the kids by Chase's tree. I chose each snapshot for a specific reason, but almost no one receiving the card would be aware of what they symbolize. The card also has a letter on the back that I wrote. It is a generic note about our year, including the birth and loss of Chase and how it has affected us. In my opinion, it is an update with a slight philosophical twist to it. When I finished it, it was exactly what I wanted it to look like and say, but I really didn't know if I wanted to actually send it. I don't know if this makes any sense....
So I showed Patric, because of course, I wasn't going to send anything like this out without consulting him and making sure that I was not doing something he was not comfortable with. His thoughts were much the same as mine, as mentioned above. (I had been working this up in my mind for a few weeks now,while he had just had this placed in his lap.) His question was, probably for the general public, who wants to get a Christmas card that is all about our child who died? And why should or would I explain my child, such an intimate/personal experience, to people we never see? (most of our christmas card list is old, out of town friends and distant family) I totally agree. And what's more, I'm not sure how I'll feel about this when I wake up in the morning. But I wanted to blog about this in hopes that I would get some comments from those who are walking my path....in my shoes. How do you feel about sending Christmas cards? Are you sending them out and if so, are you saying anything about your loss?
After talking to Patric, I realized I could just send a card with just our family snapshot. There is a flower arrangment with an ornament for Chase so, for me, Chase is in the photo. It also would have Chase's name on the card, of course. But I'm not sure if the reason I wanted to send Christmas cards out was to send the letter, too, or not. Maybe it was just healing for me, making the card and I don't need to go any further. And I feel a little bit weird sending out Christmas cards with us wearing smiles when my baby died just 7 months ago. But that is what I mean about where I am at in my grieving. I'm want to send a card, but I don't. I don't think I want to just send a family photo card, though, I think it's all or nothing.
As we well know, there is no rule book on what to do, no etticate and definitely no 'standard protocol' to follow. In cases like these, it's best to turn to those who have been there. So please, any ideas/comments/feelings relating to this hopefully will help me a little.