Grief and the Holidays

 I can feel the holiday season creeping up on me and the emotions are changing. Losing a child for me, took all holiday "happy, merry, cheerful" away so I prefer to do different things for the holidays if possible without taking away from others in the family. 

Here is a website that gives good insight to grief and the holidays.

Thanksgiving is a holiday that the family gets together to visit, share good food, stories, and the men usually watch football and women are tirelessly tending to the turkey and the food. We eat, more like gorge ourselves, eat pie, and drink more than we should and then have leftovers for days. I do like leftovers, but, mostly I miss my son learning from Grandpa, how to cook and cut a turkey. Grandma taught my son how to set a beautiful table and was a good taste tester to the food they prepared. My son and I also participated in the "turkey trot" locally and sometimes my mom and dad and a few friends would join me. I remember one year in particular that Caine, my son that has passed in 2018, decided to run with me for the annual turkey trot. It had changed locations this particular year and had some uphill running sections. Caine took off and ran ahead of me and waited at the finish line. I pushed myself and when finished we celebrated with a drink and some food they offered. The air was crisp and it was such a positive fun run. We then headed back home to finish up any cooking and head over to my parents for the meal and some good quality family time. After Caine's death in 2018, I did not participate in any holiday, run, event, and laid very low. I kept to myself trying to figure out this life and how to move forward. Then Covid hit. in 2020 my spouse and I cooked our own thanksgiving meal and I went for a long walk solo, we ate and watched a movie and spent a lot of time alone and separate from family, which was actually ok for me. This year, my mom made a comment to me while we were shopping. She said, I was sad last year putting ornaments on the tree by myself and she wanted me to help her put ornaments on the tree. I got a tree for the first time since my son passed in 2018 last year- 2020. My husband and I got a permit and cut a small tree down to put up in our living room. We decided we wanted to display all our sons ribbons and medals from his ski races and put on the tree. It is very emotional for me and I am so thankful for all the memories from Caine's ski races, traveling, and friendships we made along his journey. I also know the holiday season doesnt feel "Merry, Bright, Happy, or anything wonderful. It is a reminder that my son is no longer with me. I have no other children and will never be a grandmother. I have my parents left and do want to make the rest of their lives peaceful and good, yet honor my pain and grief. So my advice is to follow the guide- There are NO RULES and you can make it what you want it to be! May 2021 leave gracefully and may 2022 come in and provide some change!

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