It’s been a really messed up few days. It’s Murphy’s Law all over the place and it has put me in a horrible mood, which is terrible when Christmas is 2 days away. This is my attempt to counteract all of the BS and remember the good.
I know this is a blog for Benny, but I feel that this post should be all about you. It should be all about the surviving siblings that carry their parents along in the wake of their grief.
This will be our third Christmas without your little brother. I don’t know how that is possible, how that much time has passed, but it has. Things have changed so much for our family over the past two years as we head into this third Christmas without Benny. This year we are so lucky to add Fletcher to our family as he celebrates his first Christmas.
That first Christmas without Benny was rough. It was just over a month after the accident and we were all trying to figure out what to do. Do we hang his stocking, his ornaments? How do we do so without completely losing it? Do we keep old traditions or start new ones? We only had Bennett with us for one Christmas, how do we immortalize that? So many questions, no wrong answers.
The only thing that I knew was that it needed to still be magical for you. You were only just 5 and still trying to wrap your head around what death really was and what had really happened. I was terrified that we were going to be lost in our grief and forget about the little girl that so badly needed something to keep her going.
So, we set about doing our best. We saw Santa and you smiled and had your picture taken without your little brother. But you SMILED, you were happy. We went to a family gathering where no one even brought Benny up, even though it had been less than 2 months. I wanted to scream at them that they were making it worse. I remember seeing you laughing and excited and thinking to myself, it’s ok, Darcy is ok. It diffused the situation. I actually enjoyed shopping for you (maybe a little too much) and wrapping up presents that I knew would make you smile.
You put out cookies and milk and we read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ without your brother. We watched you run down the stairs alone Christmas morning all excited and tear through your presents. It made it hurt a little less to see you so happy, to play with you.
We wrote letters to Benny and put them in his stocking. We cried as a family not knowing at all how to really do any of this without Benny. But we did it. And you made it magical. You made it better. You made it fun again.
A lot of things died with Benny on November 8th, but not your spirit. You are one of the most amazing little girls I know and you saved us that first Christmas. Your dad and I decided early on that your life wasn’t going to be about Bennett’s death. You taught us so much about healing and love, but mostly about the resiliency of children. You made us smile and laugh again. You made me feel again at a time when I really didn’t want to. I owe you so much for that little girl! Thank you for being who you are and loving the way you do.