One of my favorite Christmas tree ornaments is a green ball my Father and Step-Mother gave me. It has little rocking horses on it with the words, “Baby’s First Christmas” for my son, Jared. It wasn’t just because it was Jared’s first Christmas that made it so special; it was because it was Jared’s only Christmas.

The first Christmas after Jared’s death, I didn’t or couldn’t celebrate or decorate. Although I thought of my sweet baby, Jared, as an angel, I felt heavy hearted. My heart felt like a steel anchor was attached to it dragging the depths of the sea.

The following year, I felt a little lighter. I visited Knott’s Berry Farm, and a craftsman was personalizing ornaments. I bought a bronz rocking horse ornament and had the words, “In Loving Memory of Jared” engraved on it.

When I arrived home, I opened the brown paper bag. I sat at the dining room table staring at the engaved rocking horse. My mind flashed to the green ball with rocking horses “Baby’s first Christmas”. The room felt as if it were shrinking, closing me in. My chest tightened as if someone was hugging the life out of me.

I needed air. I grabbed the empty paper bag, crumpling it as I raced out the front door.

The cool air of twilight filled my lungs with much needed oxygen bringing me a sense of peace. I calmed and slowly walked to the dumpster. As I threw the bag in the trash, I felt an invisible pull, tug at my heart, to walk behind the dumpster enclosure. I slowly walked around, looked down, and saw a small pine tree, about two and a half feet tall. A blue wooden rocking horse ornament was hangin on this little Christmas tree.

As I lifted the rocking horse from the tree, I knew in my heart it was a gift, a message, from my little angel, Jared, encouraging me to celebrate Christmas once more.


Three Steps to Cope through the Holidays

1. Take 3 deep breaths, and remember a time of pleasure and joy.

2. Listen to a favorite song, and dance to the music.

3. Write 5 blessings you have experienced in your life and put at least one in comment section of this article.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Lorrie Lauer is a Recreational Therapist and Grief Counselor who earned her doctorate in Clinical Hypnotherapy. Her Master of Science Thesis is "A Program Manual Incorporating Humor as a Therapeutic Adjunct in Bereavement Support Groups." She is an inspirational speaker sharing her stories and research helping people grow, heal, and live healthy, harmonious lives.