Losing a loved one near Christmas is especially tough. I occasionally reference “The Minnesota Farm Woman” blog because the author is Lucy’s cousin and because Chris is a very talented and humorous writer. I sadly report that Chris’s mother, Jean, passed away today and is reunited with her beloved husband, Gil. Please keep Chris and Dave; Amanda, Brendon, and Max; and Liz and Chuck in your thoughts and prayers as they start this new chapter in their lives. They are a very strong and loving family, and I know they will appreciate your compassion.
The first holiday season after losing a loved one is the toughest. I am entering my second Christmas without Lucy. Last year was much more difficult. Having the love and support of friends and family helped me through last year’s season. It is not the same without Lucy, and I still miss her, but I am noticing the memories of our Christmas traditions, trips, songs, movies, and silliness are nostalgic rather than bittersweet. Those memories are as comforting as a warm blanket fresh from the clothes dryer. It helps get me through the frigid gloominess of winter.
We mourn the passing of those we love and it takes time to process the loss and begin healing. We should also celebrate that person and remember how she or he enriched our lives, inspired us, and made us better by loving us. That loved one is part of us and lives on within us. Those wonderful memories are a source of joy to those of us remaining in this life.
I know some of you are unable to be with family because of job commitments and because of Christmas and New Year’s Day falling on a Wednesday. If you know of someone in that situation, try to call or visit them. You will find it brightening your day, too.
Give your loved ones an extra hug tonight and let them know how much you care. Be a source of comfort and joy for them as well as a source of strength and compassion. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, and may this season be a source of love and happiness to you and your families!