Friday, November 26, 2010

Congratulations on Surviving Another Thanksgiving

OK, here's the thing. I'm done with Thanksgiving. I'm done with the whole, "what are you thankful for?" malarky. I am grateful that I had Caitlin. I am grateful that my DH and I are solid as a rock. But, I resist the persistent forced "be thankful" spirit of this season. This season for me is a season of mourning, of remembering, of reverence, and sadness. Thanksgiving is a big "suckage" holiday for me. I put it second to Mother's Day. And that's OK. It's just the way it is.

The day before Thanksgiving we had Caitlin's funeral. I'm grateful for the many friends and family who made the trek, for some an expensive trek, to be there with us to say "goodbye" to our daughter. I'm grateful for the friends who postponed their holiday travel to attend my daughter's funeral instead. I'm grateful. They held us through that awful day. But, I'm not on board with Thanksgiving holiday. I'm done with it. Done with forced smiles and forced happiness.

I should have phoned in "bereaved" this latest holiday gathering. I'm just not strong enough all the time. The babies and the baby stories just about did me in. The "cooing" and the explaining every move and sound they make was unbearable. And the comment of "Well, we just have to trust that God knows best" was not helpful. Really, God knowing best that my daughter should die instead of live is just not how you comfort a bereaved parent. It has the effect of negating the feelings of the bereaved. Like, "Well, too bad, 'cause God knows best." What I heard was, "It was best that Caitlin died." Yup, when you pull a God plan on me that's what I hear. I know that's not the intention, but that's what it feels like. So, if you could just kindly keep the God reasons to yourself to comfort yourself--protect yourself from the horror of understanding what it feels like for your child to be dead---that would be great. And, if you meant it, that it was best that she be dead, then shut the F up, and spew that crap at coffee with the other gossip mongers.

I'm done. I'm done with this holiday.


  1. I hear you. We don't celebrate Thanksgiving here in Ireland. So for us it's not the beginning of the holiday season. Thankfully (pun intended)!

    It sucks, I am with you on that one. I have no time at all for people and their mindless, empty attempts to comfort me so that they can tick one of their boxes (talked to BLM and expressed reassuring crap to make her feel better -check-)all I want to do is to say to them, you have no idea why don't you go and share you wisdom with someone of your own kind.

    Love to you
    xx Ines

  2. I'm sorry. How damn hard it must be to have Thanksgiving the day after the anniversary of Caitlin's funeral.... every stinkin' year. I'd be done with it too.

    I've hosted Thanksgiving the last 3 years (hard to believe this is the 4th without Liam) and each year it is either friends or family or both.... but NO babies or preggos so far. Makes it easier that way. Safe even. I light Liam's candle in the comfort of my own home and can look upon his photo when I need. I am not sure how I would handle a big family Thanksgiving as you describe. Not well I'm guessing.

    (((((hugs)))) my friend.

    p.s .... what about turning thanksgiving meal into a remembering caitlin meal for you and your hubby next year? a celebration of her life and your love? a spin on the holiday but perhaps fitting?

  3. comments like that...meant to be kind, but so very hurtful...are why this holiday can be so hard to bear. it would almost be easier (for me) if people were being intentionally cruel. sometimes people have asked me "what would you like people to do/say/etc." and i don't even know what i DO want, i just know things i don't want. ((hugs))

  4. Been sitting on this one for a couple of days. Yeah. I'm so sorry people tell you these stupid things.