Handling grief and a poem for my Mama.

Over the past eight months, I have had to learn that grief is the most sporadic and frustratingly uncontrollable emotion to have to deal with. It ebbs and flows and often hits seemingly out of nowhere. Just when you think that you pulled yourself together, and you go through stretch of really great days and no tears, grief creeps up again and build an instant brick wall for you to slam into.

December kicked my ass. I didn’t talk about it much of the time because it supposed to be a joyous time of year. Mom loved Christmas. It was her absolute favourite holiday. I’m one of those Christmas nerd types that has hundreds of Christmas songs on a playlist, just waiting for December to come around so I have an excuse to play it. I didn’t expect that my beloved holiday tunes would bring about such an emotional reaction. The truth is, I would break down into tears almost every single day on my way to and from the office in December.

Christmas without her was hard, and then my birthday followed three weeks later. It has been a lot to recuperate from and is been part of the reason I took a bit of a break on here. But I didn’t take a break from writing. In fact, just as I always have in my life, I filtered my emotion down into more writing.

Every once in a while I go through phases where my writer soul threatens to consume me. It almost always happens when I’m dealing with depression. While it can make for some productive creativity, it can also be a bit of a dangerous venture. There’ve been many nights in the last three months where I find myself pacing the living room, sipping whiskey at 1 AM, writing poetry like some sort of tortured soul. My writing has always been like this. When it comes, it comes hard, and if I don’t get it out it will haunt me. My grief over mom was a catalyst back into depression and therefore into writing.

Which leads me to this. The first poem I have finished in probably over two years. I wrote this for her. For my mama.

I wanted to share it today, on what would’ve been her 60th birthday.

I love you, Mama.

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Crippling

Crippling, a poem about grief

Mama and I when I was around 2.

I still cripple
with thoughts of you.
My breath catches
my body heaves
and I never expect it.

Sometimes it is the soft light,
pushing through the clouds,
lighting a path home.
Not my home. Not yet.
You are keeping my seat warm.
I bask in the beauty;
only a moment or two, and I am hit.
Pain replaces comfort,
running through me with force.
Sobs racking my fragile frame.
And I cripple.

A poem for dealing with grief

Me and Mama, June 2015

Sometimes I willingly bait it.
Getting lost in your words;
Rediscovered on pages long forgotten.
Blanketing myself in old letters,
I hear your voice.
Or with the whiff of red door,
Fooling my senses into believing;
you are here, you are near.
Memories crash over me.
Bruising my soul and breaking my heart.
And I cripple.

Sometimes others drive the impact.
A kind soul asking in earnest,
“How are you?”
My small child making a declaration,
of her own heartbreak.
Their words stir in me.
Inviting an unwelcomed reminder;
you are not here, you are nowhere near.
My fingers long to call you.
My head aches for your shoulder.
And I cripple.
I still cripple.

Our 2015 Christmas Card & A Gluten Free Gingerbread Tree!

First things first – I present to you all, our 2015 Christmas card!

Mommy Kissing Santa Claus Christmas Card

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We wanted to try to do our annual family photo by the tree or wearing Christmas sweaters, but time got away from us. So instead I opted to toss a Santa hat onto one of the photos from our recent photo session and have a little fun with it :)

Now, being gluten free around the holidays is tough. Especially when you’re five and can easily arrive at the decision of “that’s not fair” at the drop of a hat. Unfortunately, life isn’t always fair and we have had to watch Lilly tear up at the grocery store several times because she can’t make a gingerbread house like all of her friends.

Luckily, there is an incredible bakery in Barrie, Ontario, who was able to add a little extra Christmas magic into our household with their gluten free Christmas tree. Having heard my tale of woe, Warwick Hughes Food Market offered to make one of their trees and leave it in the plain pieces for Lilly to decorate on her own.

She was thrilled!

Gluten Free Gingerbread Tree

Deliciously decorating each piece. I think she ate more candy than she added…

 

Gluten Free Gingerbread Tree Decorating

Our Christmas Masterpiece :)

A very big Merry Christmas from the Wiltshire crew. May your holidays be ever idealistically cheery and bright.

Personal Messages from Santa! PNP Promo Code!

Disclaimer: I was gifted my Gold Pass and a PNP Promo Code to share with all my wonderful readers as compensation for this post. The views and opinions are my own. Honestly, this is one of my favourite services to review each year anyways. My love for PNP is real, guys. Very, very real :)

Personalized messages from Santa with Portable North Pole

Take a personal tour of Santa’s workshop!

I created my first Portable North Pole video back in 2009! I was pregnant with Lilly and excited about all the future Christmas’ I would experience as a Mama. However, since I didn’t have a little one to watch the video yet, I created a personalized message from Santa to a good friend’s little guy and sent it to her via email. Like me, she loves this time of year, so I knew she would appreciate it. Sure enough, she messaged me later that night to say thank you and that watching her little guy get so excited for the message brought tears to her eyes.

Watching the elves and Santa deliver her personalized message.

Lilly, watching the elves and Santa deliver her 2014 personalized message. I can’t wait to see her face light up during this year’s video!

When 2010 rolled around, we created our first video for our little Lilly! She was 4 months old and it was certainly more for us than her, but the magic had officially begun in our household. We have never missed a year since and can honestly say it has always brought tears to our eyes as well. Magic truly is the word to describe the look on her face and the permanent smile lingering after.

This year will be the first year our son Cole is old enough to understand some of the Christmas magic. Santa will start with his signature, “Well hello there Colton!” I am so excited to show Cole his video because I know he will stare wide-eyed and mumble a toddler style “hiii” and wave back. I can’t wait to see the look on his face when Santa shows him the workshop and the reindeer.

About the Portable North Pole

If you’re not familiar with the Portable North Pole (PNP), they create the world’s most engaging, personalized Santa video messages. It gives you the ability to bring Santa Claus directly into your home via video message, complete with details and photos of your kids. It brings them such an in depth personalized video that truly comes across in a realistic way. I was blown away the first time I saw it and equally impressed with the way they have grown it since.

There are plenty of ways to share in the magic for free and the “elves” have been busy working to make PNP easier to use and extra personalized. There’s a new mobile version (compatible with Apple and Android devices) so you can carry the magic of Santa in your pocket, creating personalized video messages and calls on the go. PNP is also available now in English, French and Spanish!

The PNP website has plenty of Christmas stories to share with the kids you love …or funny video options for the adults you want to embarrass in your life. We may or may not have stuck the boss on the naughty list this year at my office and sent the video via email to the whole team….

PNP Supporting Children’s Hospitals

Children's Hospital Program from the Portable North Pole.

Learn more about the PNP Children’s Hospital Program.

In the true spirit of giving, the PNP team has pledged to donate 5% of all web sales to kids hospitals in the purchaser’s area. Each year, they donate to a total of 40 hospitals all over Canada, United States, France, UK, Australia and Ireland and have raised more than $150,000 so far!

This year, PNP will also be donating passes to the staff at each hospital, so they can create personalized videos for each of the children in their care. Such a loving and beautiful idea.

20% Off Portable North Pole (PNP) Promo Code:

PNP offers one FREE personalized video message, but there are a wide range of additional storylines, Christmas eve video, phone calls from Santa, and more to choose from. To access some of the additional goodies, there are a few different packages to choose from. All are reasonably priced. My personal pick is the Gold Pass, which gets you unlimited premium videos, unlimited phone calls, archived videos and HD downloads.

If you are thinking of any of these options, I can offer a little something off the top. Simply enter promo code BLG20PNP when you are at the checkout process.

Visit the Portable North Pole now and start a wonderful, family tradition.

Ideally speaking, your little ones will love their videos as much as mine did and the PNP can bring even more Christmas magic into your home too!