We’ve all had it! Some of us are having it right now! It’s that time of the year that I look forward to all year long. I love the holidays! But the holiday I’m in love with is Christmas. People are the happiest they’ve been all year just because. But what about those moments when you get back home and it’s quiet from the hustle and bustle of the day, and you realize that someone you used to share these memories with isn’t around. Death has hit my hometown so much this year, and I couldn’t not talk about this. I was going to save this post for another time, but this morning while listening to Pandora Kirk Franklin’s “He Will Take The Pain Away” came on and I had to sit and write this post because I know so many people going through this right now.
The holidays are times of joy, but sometimes the person or people that made your holidays joyous can’t anymore. It’s hard when you are no longer with that person you have spent several holidays with and you can’t pick up the phone and talk to them. Whether it be because they are no longer in your life due to death, a break up, distance in miles, etc. it doesn’t stop the feeling. And those that are extra chipper and always in your face don’t always make it better.
Yes, I’m that person that posts Christmas time with my family as much as I can. I do it because those traditions make things better for me to get through the fact that some people are no longer in my life. We used to go to the country to my PawPaw and Nanny house with all the family on my dad’s side on Christmas Eve. I can still vividly see the yard filled with cars and people pulling bags of presents out of their trunks. We would eat and sit around the Christmas tree that had lights and tinsel and ornaments of every color on it, just fellowship with family. After they passed, I believe we did it one or two years after and it stopped.
At the same time, it’s not just the Christmas memories that make it harder around this time. It’s that during this time every memory fills your head more because they aren’t sharing these moments with you. I miss my grandmother (my mom’s mother) and being around her and eating neckbones and noodles. (Did I mention that I’m a true southern girl, and I stopped eating pork when I had Bailey lol). I miss her calling me Patricia (don’t know where it came from). Hearing her go down the list of all her children’s name to get to my moms name when she wanted something. I’ve been without a biological grandparent since 9th grade, the first passed when I was in kindergarten. My brother passed when I was in 10 years old. It’s hurts that my child has never seen, touched, heard their voices and learned from their wisdom.
I miss seeing certain friends during the holidays. I miss being able to go out with them and have fun. Yes I’m able to still talk with some of them, because we still have our friendship. I miss going back up to the school on Christmas because my best friend had to work and wasn’t going to let her not have a plate of food and someone to spend a few moments with on Christmas. While those other friendships/relationships are long gone. Some of those memories are about the happiness and joys shared, but not the person. So remember that when you go home and are feeling a little lonely and you want to pick up that phone and call that person from your past. The good memories with them are there for that reason!
I hate when people tell you, oh you’ll get over the hurt or the hurt will go away. NO! That’s not what happens. These people had a part of your heart and those pieces are now gone. I do believe that you never forget the hurt, but you learn to deal with it. You learn how to cope with the pain of them not being there.
We all deal with things differently. I tend to go head first in creating other memories. Please make sure if you are dealing with the loss of someone be careful in what you are using as a coping mechanism. Talk with someone who has your best interest in heart. Seek professional help if you don’t have someone who you can talk to about your loss. Take it one day at a time. Continue to enjoy in those memories that will forever be with you. Those memories make you the person you are today, so cherish them as much as you can.
For the future, my suggestion is to spend time with those in your life as much as possible. Every day if you can, but even more during the holidays. Take the time from your busy schedule for a day or two and spend it with family and friends. It may be something as small as sitting in the house with them and watching something on TV. Or something larger like planning a nice dinner for everyone to get together and create amazing memories.
My mother made Christmas special for me every year. I truly believe that when she leaves this place physically, though I hope not for a very long time, I will be able to cherish the memories made and continue to pass traditions down to our children. Just know that some of our traditions are still coming and maybe it will be something you can add as a memory with your family to get through the holidays.