This year will be my second Christmas without my mom. My mom was a saint to say the least and she loved Christmas. My mom would spend weeks planning the day, preparing the food, and praying her four kids, two son-in-law’s, daughter-in-law and six grandchildren would be safe traveling home for her favorite holiday. My mom was a devoted Christian who loved Christmas hymns and a little Elvis Christmas music. I never would have dreamed that the Christmas music I listened to growing up would one day bring tears to my eyes without any bit of warning.
The other day, I had a conversation about my mom with an almost complete stranger, a woman I had met briefly one to two times prior. It’s so interesting how God, the Universe, or whoever you believe in, puts people in your life at the most random times to lift you up for a special moment and remember those you miss.
This woman and I had started talking about the holidays and family plans. When I brought up that I lost my mom just over a year ago, she could relate, because she had lost her dad thirteen years ago. She expressed to me that the grief I am feeling is completely normal even after one, two, five, ten, even thirteen years or more! This is my journey and no one can tell me how it will go. She also assured me that, even though it never really gets easier, the random crying does get better with time.
This woman probably has no idea that she helped me grieve the loss of my mom in that short, five-minute conversation. It’s so nice to talk about her. In our busy lives, we forget to offer support in those who are grieving and sometimes, maybe on purpose, we ourselves are too busy to even acknowledge those feelings. That is probably why, it hits me when I don’t want it to with the dang Christmas music.
Christmas for me will never be the same. There will never be a new “normal.” Finding joy in the people I have and my wonderful memories must be my focus. I try to hold my girls a little longer just for my mom. I share stories about her with my girls and tell them how much she loved them. I want to love them like my mom would have. I want to celebrate Christmas with the joy she had in her heart and do my best to get our family together, even though a giant piece of the puzzle is missing.
I know there are so many more people out there grieving this holiday season. How can you honor your loved one? How can you support someone else in honoring their loved one this holiday?
If you need more support with grief or finding joy in life, contact one of our coaches here at Mandala Integrative Medicine. We have a whole team of support.