By: Marie Kriedman
Miscarriages are an emotional bombshell on many levels. The holidays can be an additional burden to families struggling with heartache.
One of my struggles is knowing my daughter’s impact. She has no birth certificate and no social security number. Olivia was deeply loved within my family, but I have no proof of her existence.
I needed to know she mattered. I needed something tangible to prove she existed. I needed her to be known outside of our family, and I needed some good to come from her death.
I couldn’t fix what was broken but I needed to make the world better. I was eager, desperate, willing to create a resource for other grieving parents. I had to do something positive in her name, and I honored her by writing two books. It was a necessary and welcome outlet for the days I wanted to pitch a fit and scream “I WANT HER BACK”.
The holidays are a significant challenge of merry and bright vs. despair and longing. I try to use it as another way to honor Olivia. She has her own stocking and many ornaments on our Christmas tree. We make a donation in her memory every year, and I try to reflect on the good we put into the world.
It doesn’t feel like enough. There should be a little one cradled on my lap while we read Christmas books. Presents under the tree don’t have a nametag displaying her name.
It has been three years since our loss, and now my husband and I navigate our grief by smiling through the tears. When the kids are sitting on each other’s heads, wrestling, practicing their Minion voices and fart noises, or not-so-politely refusing dinner, my husband sighs.
“I just know she would have been the good one,” he says, shaking his head. We try to laugh when we can, be present for our kids, and enjoy family activities. We give ourselves grace on the days we are sad and need space. The bustling holiday events help build new memories and even if she isn’t physically present, she is remembered and included. We carry Olivia with us, in our hearts. We always will.
About Marie Kriedman
Marie started her journalism career as a copy editor and paginator for a newspaper. She eventually left the newspaper business and has continued as a freelance writer for more than 20 years. She founded Write Away K and is a children’s book author. She published two books to honor her daughter, Saying Goodbye to Olivia and Olivia Had Trisomy 18. Marie and her husband are graciously permitted to live in a house with their cats. They are also parents to two children and one angel baby. Please visit BooksbyMarie.com to learn more.