Years have passed and in some ways the holidays never get any easier.
I have made new friends, and still have great times with old friends. But as the weather begins to change and I awake each morning a little chilled I think ~ here come the holidays. I walk into an HEB and am instantly reminded of what is to be and I cannot avoid it. The wave of emotions hits as I go up and down each aisle. I know HEB doesn’t mean to do this to me but its stings.
Carl was a big fan of holidays and every year made sure our huge oak tree was fully lit to the max. He loved that project to light up the tree after a candle lit Thanksgiving dinner. I can still hear his laughter belting across the Saltillo tile in our home, yelling to get outside, time to light it up! The memory starts to burn my throat and so I remind myself to keep moving forward. That time in my life is gone now and I look for ways to make new memories.
I start by imagining how I want to feel, what colors I want to focus on in my picture in my head and the things I want to make sure and soak in, life is way too short and it is precious. I start a countdown to seeing my daughter again and sharing so many hugs my eyes start to tear up just thinking of it. I can smell the cooking of my son and hear the blending of his mashed potatoes. I think of the chaos we all feel to try and push through the holidays. We know it will never be the same.
But we try, and so I share these holiday thoughts with you because you probably know someone who has had a loss or is going through a loss and wonder – what do I say? How do I help?
Offer to just be there, be a body to watch TV, go for a run or grab a cup of coffee. And Listen.
You will hear the sound of grief. Their sighs will be felt and full of missing someone or something.
But just be present with them and while you are physically giving them the support they need, be silent in that space and have gratitude.
Be someone’s holiday angel.