Silent Night, Holy Night,
Son of God, Love’s Pure Light,
Radiant Beams from Thy Holy Face,
With the Dawn of Redeeming Grace.
One of the healing aspects of my journey has come through the act of mindfully creating sacred space in our home.
I have always enjoyed making our home beautiful. Once a room is decorated, it may last a year or two before I start making changes to it again. The joke is that when I’ve finished with a room, I move on to the next and when they’re all done, I start back at the beginning and do it all over again.
Home is important to me. It has always been a place of celebrating and connecting, a place of rest and play, a place of growth and discovery.
I never wanted my home to be a place of mourning.
But it is.
There are things that allow us to be connected to each other, connected to Mattie’s spirit and tangibly connected to all of the feelings we call grief.
Making space for this connection is so valuable.
Beauty is a gift. Color and Light and Texture, all of these elements play together in the creation of what I like to call “Sacred Space.”
“Sacred”- meaning blessed, consecrated, connected to God.
From that place of connection, a sacred space allows for healing and hope and peace to stir.
Last Christmas it meant creating this space. A second tree in our home. The kids all helped place his favorite toys in the branches and around the base. We hung his stocking nearby and letters were placed in it from family and friends all around the world.
Our children would draw pictures and tuck them under the tree. It was a place to sit and cry. A place to touch and hold the things that were the most special to our son and brother.
Because of special gifts that were given last Christmas, we have had a basket full of photo albums and a basket full of quilts made from Mattie’s clothing in our living room this year. Those things have been treasures for each of us at different times. Things to hold, look at, touch, wrap up in.
This fall I spent some time sitting in our living room really thinking about how I wanted this room to feel. In the corner where Mattie’s tree had been, a bucket of toys still remained. I moved his little rocking chair to the corner, but it was still piled high with things. Things that for a while we needed to have there. And at some point, it was time to move those things to make a change. I settled on the color for the room, “Comet Grey.” I slowly began creating and collecting art pieces for the room. It became transformed, with intention in every color and stroke and texture.
And it was ok for the chair to remain empty, a simple reminder of a beautiful boy whose spirit fills this room more than any “things every could.
And now, our 2nd Christmas without Mattie, this space feels exactly how I needed it to feel. In the midst of the sadness and the longing, I breathe in the spirit of the boy who was hope and joy and beauty and strength. And he reminds me that he is still here.
And though I ache at every thought of how much beauty his body brought to this room, I have to chose to soak in the perfection of his spirit that has never left us.
I sit in a room where the artwork, the colors, the motion, the beauty- all reflect those parts of him that are still so close.
We fill his chair with evergreens and a sparkling pinwheel reminding us all, “Don’t Forget to Breathe”, and we look down to the figurine purchased in his honor, and our hearts sing out,
Hot Diggity Dog, I fell in love!
Cut these wires and run away.
Who’s that knocking on my wall.
My Saint My Son My Brother
-from “My Saint My Son My Brother” by Nick, Amy, and Isabelle Loux (listen to the song HERE)
We each must find our own way, but I encourage you to take a meaningful step and create a space that feels sacred and honoring in your home. It may be sprinkled here and there in tiny whispers that only you truly see and understand. It may be bold and vibrant shouts.
If nothing else, I give you permission to acknowledge your child’s life in your home this Christmas. Hang a stocking and fill it with notes of love, decorate a tree, write a poem and read it Christmas morning, buy a gift that honors your child and give it away, buy a work of art that is a gift to yourself and honors your journey.
There are 100 ways, and only 1 you, choose your way. But through it all my friend, Don’t Forget to Breathe. There is life and hope in closing your eyes and breathing in Love.
May the light of Love shine on you.
May redeeming Grace cover you.
If the details of my Sacred Space room makeover interest you, feel free to read THIS POST.