Grieving and Christmas

The thing about grieving is in one moment you are perfectly fine, happy because time has passed and you found your new “normal”, but then out of no where a song, a smell, a word or thought or even a color will slam you back into memories good or bad and you feel this heavy weight on your chest that you can barely breathe. You remember you will never see them ever again in this lifetime. All you have are those moments of memories. It’s bittersweet because you feel their presence in that moment and yet you feel that harsh pain and reality. That’s one reason I think traditions are important. It’s in the tradition where you remember and respect them. Cherish them and in a sense be with them in that moment.

I have a vivid memory of helping my mom make Christmas ornaments when I was four or five. It was this clear ornament with styrofoam and we crumbled up some of the styrofoam to make it look like snow. We cut gold and red ribbons then placed these two miniature reindeer inside. She always let me put the ornament on the tree.

I think that’s why I had a tradition of making at least one ornament each year with my kids when they were younger.

I get crafty around this time of year and always think of Mom and Dad. This year I made my version of a Christmas Gnome. Had flashbacks to junior high school needle point class then flashed to high school when I was teaching a friend how to make “Stumpkins”. Then thought of my sister and a few cousins when we’d start crafting too. But mostly, I thought of mom. Of course, It was soothing.

For anyone else who is grieving… Eventually, the heavy weight is lifted and you go right back to living your normal until the next wave hits. You learn to ironically cherish it and hate it all at the same time.

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