I debated vigorously about putting up my Christmas tree this year. As much as I love this season, it will never be the same.
My only son, Adam Maier-Clayton, died last year, at just 27 years young. A death by suicide, is incredibly complicated, bringing with it profound sadness and regret. I wake up to it. I go to sleep with it. I am now learning to live with this pain daily.
To many, this time of year brings back a lot of happy memories: the sounds of children laughing; presents being opened; hot chocolate on a cold wintery day; delightful smells from the oven; and often, family, friends and hope.
But for others, it’s a time of great suffering, sadness and loneliness. Parents whose children have died, are constantly being reminded of what they no longer have or will ever have. – December can become a grueling month to just “get through”.
I made the decision to decorate my tree and home. I have had this Christmas tree for almost 20 years. I just love it-; especially with all the beautiful ornaments on it.
In the final box, I came across this butterfly.
I picked it up tenderly and lovingly.
The butterfly was made by my son, when he was just five years young. I had gone to his school in Thunder Bay, to surprise him. As soon as he saw me walk into his classroom, Adam rushed towards me, holding up this beautiful butterfly. “Mummy, look what I made for you!”, he gushed so proudly.
Remembering his words, the tears started streaming down my face.
I have always loved butterflies. To me, they signify life, change, renewal and hope.
Today, I proudly placed that beautiful butterfly on my tree. Each year, moving forward, I will do the same. It is the beginning of a new memory, a different one, but a new one.