It is amazing to me how grief and the holidays seem to go hand in hand. I’m sitting here reflecting on all the things I need to finish up over the next week before I spend time with family for Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Thinking about presents that I haven’t bought, those cookies I need to help my wife bake, the few more cards I need to mail and the people I need to reach out to share a Christmas greeting with.
However, the reality even in all this holiday excitement, there are feelings of grief throughout this holiday season for those individuals that are not around. It has been 10 years since my parents passed away, and I still find myself thinking about needing to call and see what they want for Christmas, wishing I was making plans to drive to Flint, Michigan to just sit and visit with over Christmas Dinner, and driving around town looking at the lights.
Someone asked me the other day. How do you deal with the grief over the holidays?
I simply said “Memories” …
It doesn’t matter if I’m reflecting on the grief of the loss of my own parents 10 years ago, or the loss of my mother-in-law just over a year and half ago, that answer is the same … I will always focus on the memories, the things that always made the holiday special with that individual. With my mother-in-law it was always the love she put into Christmas Dinner for the family and friends, with my mom it was simply watching the Red birds out the window on Christmas morning in Flint and then looking around the house at the all the Red birds she had on the tree and shelves for the holiday. The memories are about remembering the amazing life and reflecting on the awesome heritage they gave us to live out life until we see them again.