I find it really hard to believe that this is our third Christmas without Lentil. He should be 2.5 years old, mischievous, cheeky, full of energy, full of life. I think that it’s only now, when I have my beautiful 18 month old daughter, that I can truly appreciate what I’ve lost. J is just the most amazing, gorgeous, precious little thing. She is clever and funny, constantly learning, constantly teaching me, she brings smiles to the faces of strangers and she brightens every single one of my days. I feel like it’s only now, when I can feel such extreme joy and such complete unconditional love that I can really feel the complete sadness and emptiness that comes with losing Lentil.
J is loving Christmas this year, we take her out on her trike when we walk the dog and she sees the neighbours decorations on their houses, she looks up with her big, twinkly blue eyes and says “wow lights”. There is such wonder and awe in things which can become so mundane as we grow up.
J currently loves crabs, bees and turtles. She loves trains and trees and is increasingly obsessed with numbers. It makes me wonder, what would Lentil have liked? What would his favourite animals be? Would he like cars or dolls or climbing or running? Would J have discovered stomping in puddles sooner if Lentil were here to teach her about them?
The deeper I fall in love with my daughter, the more the loss of my son hits me. I guess it’s always going to be harder at this time of year. A time for families, a time for children. I imagine he would have been beyond excited this year and I wonder what we would have bought for him.
I wanted to get something for Lentil for Christmas, something that would help someone or something in his name. Earlier in the winter we found a hedgehog on our drive, we’d seen it nearby a few times but this time it seemed in distress. It seemed to be panting and was out in the middle of the day. We ended up getting some advice and taking the hedgehog to a hedgehog rescue where they rehabilitate poorly hedgehogs. It turned out the hedgehog had been unable to find somewhere to hibernate so this year for Christmas we bought Lentil a hedgehog house.
I like to feel that in some small way I’ve included Lentil in Christmas and that his existence has made some kind of positive change to the world. A small change maybe but positive nonetheless, another hedgehog will have a cosy home because my boy existed.
Lentil’s handprint decoration is on our tree and this year it’s joined by another decoration that bears his name and a matching one for J. I need to be careful that this doesn’t become a shrine to Lentil each year but it seemed wrong to have a decoration made for J and not have one done for Lentil too.
We managed to find a little wooden Christmas tree to take to Lentil’s grave on Christmas morning, along with some flowers and some carrots for his bunny friends. Anything that we take to his grave needs to be completely biodegradable so I was really pleased when I found this little tree, there’s no glue or wire so there’s no risk of it hurting any wildlife and it means we can feel we included him in our celebrations. I’d give just about anything to have Lentil at home, in the warm, growing up, getting overexcited, eating too much and being cheeky but I can’t have that so I feel like at least I’ve done what I can to include him. He’ll always be with us in our hearts, I just wish I could hold him in my arms too.
Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas, I hope that you can remember those you have lost positively and enjoy time with loved ones.