The Holidays

They come every year whether we like it or not. The “official” start of the holiday season being Thanksgiving. Yet, does grief increase at this time of the year, or is just more noticeable to any of us who are grieving a loss. In reality grief is always with us we tend to keep it to ourselves and try not to let others know we are still feeling the loss even years later of someone we cared deeply about.

rief seems to intensify at holiday time, especially when families gather at home. The table is set, the turkey is roasted and resting in the kitchen, the cranberry sauce is chilling in the refrigerator, the potatoes are in their final moments of cooking. Family and friends are gathered in the living room, dining room and other places in the house. A few may be outside catching their breath. The moment arrives to call everyone to the table to ger ready to eat, perhaps a blessing is said, a favorite memory is shared. It’s time to carve the turkey and the one who used to carve it isn’t there. At that moment grief hits, you smile your best smile and try not to let anyone know what’s wrong. A silent tear rolls down your cheek, as your son says, “It’s okay mom”, as he lifts the carving knife and fork. All at the table our silent for a moment knowing, understanding what you are feeling. You say, “Hey…I’m okay your father wouldn’t want us to be sad its going to be…okay.”

Its never “easier’ as the years go on, if I said it was going to be I wouldn’t be being honest, it is maybe a little softer but the one you cared for and cherished isn’t there. During the holidays we learn to adjust, to make a few changes, to put on a happy face. What we have to do is acknowledge the person who lived and loved, we don’t have to say their name every moment, what we have to do is mention it at least once.

Everyone who has come and gone before us deserves to be remembered. How exactly do we do this? We all have holidays and there are many that begin with Thanksgiving, a time we should take a moment to be thankful for not only what we have but who we have in our lives both present and past. So, hang that special Christmas ornament, light the candle on the Hanukah menorah, celebrate Kwanza, but most of all spend it with those you love.

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