As Christmas hits the calendar, and in a year of a pandemic, many will know what it is like not to get a photo of all their family together. I live that every single holiday. Some will not get to hug their kids goodbye. Been there too!! But I still have much to be thankful for!
I have my mom heavy on my mind right now. My mother was very strong! How strong was she? She buried two sons before she died and never let us know how bad that hurt. She got out of bed every day, though some days had to be excruciating!! Now that I’m there, too, I think about my mom in a whole new light!!
This is my fourth Christmas since the loss of my son. I keep thinking of how sad my mother must have truly felt during the holidays. She never let it show. That had to hurt. I don’t think I am like my mom. I tend to speak my heart’s feelings out loud and on paper, but for me, it feels like therapy. I don’t remember her speaking of her ‘hurt.’ I differ in many ways than my mother, but I hope not in all ways.
My mother NEVER forgot any her children, ever!! She never put one above the other and, when we were all alive, there were eight of us. Even after my brothers died, she never lifted them higher than those of us still around (which I have seen a bereaved parent do). I have two beautiful children, a son and a daughter. Just because one is in Heaven doesn’t mean I don’t have him. He is in my heart, my thoughts, and my actions every minute of every day. I don’t want to ever forget the “real” person he was, with all the things he did that come with that description. My daughter is a huge bright spot, not to mention the littles that call me “grandma!!” I am still so blessed! I never want to forget that within my grief!
As this holiday nears and families start “gathering,” remember those who have gone before us and are not here to celebrate in the conventional way. I know the first year, I cried every time I had a friend post their family photo around the tree. Now, I look at them and know how blessed they are to have that photo!! When those photos are the memories you have now, you relish in the happiness of having them.
May this next year bring peace to those suffering, healing to those with fresh loss, and comfort to those doing this all alone. Christmas is one of the best, yet saddest, of all holidays. It’s about the birth of hope! May that hope be within all of us for the future as we remember those we have lost. As always, I cry because he is gone, but I smile because he was here!!
#merrychristmas #thereisstillhope #gonebutnotforgotten #thedashinthemiddle