When there's a hole in your heart at Christmas.

I really don't mean to be all down in the dumps on Christmas, because this is one of the best holidays of the year. It's actually my favorite holiday. It's also the holiday that seems to hurts the most emotionally, because it is a constant reminder that there is one missing from our holiday gathering.

I am a very lucky woman. I have a wonderful family, fantastic parents, a place to go for the holidays, the means to provide a Christmas for our children. But I also have a child who is no longer living, and sometimes, that trumps everything. This will be my fourth Christmas since Devon died, and I honestly can't believe that I've made it that many Christmases. That first Christmas after his death, I felt so empty, so lost, so angry. I was so mad that my son was in Heaven and not in my arms, that I had to experience such a debilitating and life-altering loss. That was the only Christmas in my life that I absolutely hated.

As the years have gone by, the pain has lessened - but the hole is still there. There should be three sets of gifts, three stockings, three kids trying to sneak a peek at their presents, three kids on our family Christmas card. It becomes glaringly obvious during the holiday season that there is a little person missing from my life, a little person who never even got to experience his first Christmas - his mommy's favorite holiday.

To fill that hole, we adopt an angel from one of the local angel trees and buy the presents for that child that Devon will never get. Doing so has helped me cope with his loss, because it makes me feel good to give back to someone who may not have had a Christmas if the kids and I hadn't bought presents for him or her. It does not replace him, by any means, but it does help.

So on this day, our fourth Christmas without him, I want to say this: I miss my son. You all will see pictures of me and my two beautiful, amazing, wonderful living children, and you will see my smile and my joy - because they truly bring me joy and love that I never imagined could happen. But on the inside, I will be shedding tears throughout the day because I miss Devon so terribly much. I always wish he was here, but I especially wish he was here on a day like today, a day that means so much to me personally.

To all the parents out there who celebrate Christmas and are missing a little one today, please know that you're not alone in your grief. Whether you're vocal about it like me, or you choose not to say anything due to the pain, know that I'm thinking about you and sending you love and hugs. I hope your day is still magical, still wonderful, still gives you a reason to smile.

I love you, sweet boy. Merry Christmas in Heaven. I know it will be the most magical experience. <3 p="">

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