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5 New Year's Resolutions after Child Loss

Updated: Jan 26

woman holding a sparkler
Not-so Happy New Year

The New Year represents hope, new beginnings, and change. I think that's why it hurts a grieving mother's heart so much. When you've lost a child celebrations can feel all wrong. Holidays like the New Year are meant to be celebrated with friends and family, but there is a gaping hole in your family. Who can possibly think of celebrating when your child is missing?

Major holidays like this also mark the passing of time.

You may feel more alone at this time of year as you watch those around you celebrate, have fun, and make exciting resolutions for change in the coming year; people exclaiming they are ready to live happier lives! Yet, here we are: another year without our children.

The first New Year without my daughter Katie was a complete train wreck. First of all, it was less than one month after her car accident on December 8 and I was completely unprepared. I had put all my efforts into surviving Christmas, so I barely gave New Years a thought. My husband, son, and I went away for Christmas that first year, just weeks after losing our girl. It was as 'ok' as it could be. We spent five days with my brother skiing and snowboarding in BC, Canada. We were distracted and I was so glad not to be at home.

Then New Years arrived, blind-sided me, and took me out at the knees.

We arrived home to an empty house, full of dead flowers. Katie's urn sat on a table visible from the front door and the Christmas tree sat unlit and solemn in the corner. The silence was palpable. I felt like I had been punched in the stomach.

Before the bags were unpacked, I took the tree down that had been put up days before Katie died. I'm sure I broke half the ornaments as I savagely pulled and shoved and threw them into bags and containers. I screamed and I cried. The Christmas tree came down in thunderous record time and was shoved into the deep recesses of the storage room. Then I slumped to the ground. Numb and dumbstruck that this was not a bad dream, but a reality that I would be living for the rest of my life.

book cover with a lady on the front