The Season of Pumpkin Spice and Loss

This season reminds you of pumpkin spice? This season reminds me of loss.

Pumpkin spice is everywhere.

For me, loss is everywhere. Death is everywhere.

This season reminds you of wonderful memories and happy holidays with family – the best season of the year!

This season reminds me of all we lost, the impending holidays make my stomach churn and my eyes burn with tears.

I had heard that seasons changing for people with trauma can provoke anxiety and escalate mental health needs. I spent years speaking with my early childhood clients’ parents about this phenomenon. Teaching them to be aware that to them it’s just another day, to the kid, the falling leaves could bring on memories of trauma. My clients were young and unable to voice these complex systems surrounding trauma and likely had no idea the falling leaves or colder temps were triggers for their being on edge or extra “disruptive.”

Now I’m living the reality of falling leaves and colder temps making me anxious and my thoughts scattered.

You see a wonderful, brisk fall day.

I see me and my husband walking out of the hospital with the knowledge our baby would die.

Conversations about Thanksgiving plans plunge me back to last Thanksgiving when we stayed home because our baby was going to die, and we didn’t know when. I tried hard to make a typical Thanksgiving meal knowing full well it would be the only Thanksgiving with our baby. And then there’s the Thanksgiving before when I had to stop filling my plate to go take care of my miscarriage.

The colder weather feels like Christmas to you.

The colder weather feels like the day we left the hospital without our daughter. It feels like crying the whole way home. It feels like bundling up to go to the funeral home to bring her tiny urn home.

Having to dig out warmer clothes is something you love to do – the last time I wore this long sleeve shirt I was 23 weeks pregnant and only one week away from my world getting thrown upside down. The sweatshirts and hoodies remind me of hiding my deflating belly. The blankets remind me of curling on the couch for a week crying my eyes out while trying to quiet my thoughts by binge watching The Great British baking show on Netflix.

You talk about Christmas lights.

I wonder why the light of our life is gone.

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