"Thank heaven there is tomorrow. Because there is tomorrow, all our yesterdays have meaning and all our dreams have hope."

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Inner Struggle Of The Name Game

It was clear that my last entry caused some emotional turbulence. A comment was left concerning our lack of including Gavin on our Christmas card. Yes, this was a conscious decision Jason and I made this year after much discussion and many tears. However, if you look closely you will see that we added a discrete "g" in the bottom left hand corner of the card. We did not forget him.

As a mother who has a child "here" and a child "there" I have this inner struggle whether or not to include Gavin's name on things such as Christmas cards, thank you notes, birthday cards, etc. It is something I think about every time I write our names on anything. Think about how many times you sign your family's name. EVERY TIME I do that I am in conflict whether or not to sign Gavin's name. I debate: If I sign his name, is that odd? unhealthy? morbid? If I don't sign his name, will people think I have forgotten him? will people still remember he is part of our family? will Gavin think he isn't an important part of our family? And each time I think about it, I am reminded of the loss and grief we still feel. It is not something I take lightly - it is pure heartache anyway you look at it.

It is painful, to say the least, to not write all of my childrens' names on our Christmas card. However, this Christmas card was a representation of 2009 for our family. And wish all I may that it could be different, Gavin was not physically present in our lives in 2009. That being said, Gavin is very much a part of our everyday life. We speak of him every day and there has yet to be a day where I haven't thought of him. His picture is up in our home, his stocking is still hanging above our fireplace and we visit him often at the cemetery.

Our decision to not list Gavin on our Christmas card was not out of neglect nor are we "over" the loss of Gavin in our lives. It was a decision made in reflection of the year 2009 for our family. And for many personal reasons - this was our decision for this year.


The Loesevitz Family - said...

That was VERY tacky and RUDE for someone to make a comment about you not including Gavins name. It is no ones business but yours and Jasons. It's a beautiful card, and you have a beautiful family with TWO BEAUTIFUL BOYS. Don't you go feeling bad or let anyone make you feel you need to explain yourself. I think you are an amazing mother to your boys, and anyone can see the love you have for both of them!

Our Family said...

Everyone who has lost a child goes through that same time. This is my first Christmas I had to think about what names to include on the card and in the letter sent out. I am sorry someone was rude enough to comment. It is apparent in your blog you have not and will not ever forget your sweet son. Merry Christmas and hope for a very happy New Year.

Malia said...

You handle everything with grace, dignity and wisdom, Lindsay. Don't ever second guess yourself. You're such a great example. Thanks for sharing YOU with us.

Brynn said...

Hi Lindsay, I am a total blog stalker. I went to high school with Jason and found your link on the Granger page. Hope you don't mind I read your blog, if I lived closer I'd come over and introduce myself so we could be friends ;)

I wanted to say I love the "g" you put on the card. My Aunt and Uncle have a daughter that passed years ago (waiting for a heart transplant)and they still include a buzz lightyear toy (her favorite toy) in all their family pictures. I think it is a great way to include and remember her. And it's kinda of an inside thing, people who don't know why that toy is in the picture may wonder, but we all know ;)
I don't think you need to explain yourself, do what makes you happy :) And feel free to stalk me right back!

Brittanie said...

I don't include Cora's name either. Probably because I feel the cards are from those living in the home they come from, and like you decided, Cora does not live at home. (my parents did the same thing when kids moved out of the house, by the way) It still breaks my heart every time however.

I'm sorry someone commented. Like was said previously, you have to do what makes sense for you and it's nobody's right to say you're doing it wrong. (hugs)

Heather and Billy said...

There isn't much more that I could add to the kind words that have already said so I would just ditto it all. You are an example of dignity and grace and I'm sorry for what was said and how hurtful I'm sure it was to you. It's okay to move on and moving on doesn't mean forgetting.

cassi said...

Oh Lindsay, this is something I struggle with everytime I too write a thank you note, a birthday card, etc. and of course something I wondered too on our Christmas card. I too have those exact thoughts you do on what to do. Thank you for sharing that, so I know I'm not alone. I struggled back and forth about it so much that I just decided to put our only our last name so I didn't have to decide. I LOVE that you did a cute little g! What a great idea! Sometimes I put a little ladybug sticker in the corner of a card since her name isn't on it. These sweet babies know we will always be thinking of them and that is truly all that matters!!

alli may said...

for what it's worth, i just saw this post, my mother never put Jonathan's name on any christmas card... everyone we know and love knows he has never been forgotten by them or our family. It's just a card everyone is happy to get, read and throw away. It's not a lifelong tie to who you are, we love you and Gavin, no matter where you live.