I don’t travel for the holidays. We run from parent’s house to parent’s house but we all live 5 to 15 minutes away, so not really what you consider travelling. Before kids, house-hopping wasn’t really a big deal but now there are naps to consider, bags to pack and just the madness of little ones after a full day of stimuli. I’m fine with it though. Holidays are meant for family time and tradition. I love tradition.
I really love tradition. It’s a constant through the chaos of life. It’s like that blankie you took everywhere because it made you complete.
Since Wyatt’s passing, holidays are just as important, if not more. They’re much more difficult though.
Those joyous occasions tend a lose a little shine when someone we love is missing. If it someone like an aunt, uncle, grandparent, or parent, everyone still really misses them but the grief is so different. Although the grief is different, they’ll still be that one person like me. The person who slips away for a minute when no one is really paying attention, because it’s necessary to collect his or herself before a complete emotional meltdown happens. It’s that person who gets quiet for little bit in the madness of it all.
It’s easy to mistake all of that for some other reason or to overlook it altogether.
The grieving clock never stops. The widow who lost her husband 15 years ago still has these moments during the holidays. The mother that said goodbye to her mother 10 years ago still has these moments during the holidays.
I’m working on being home for the holidays, emotionally, that is. I’m still going to miss Wyatt like crazy. I do everyday. I might still need a moment, but I don’t want to lose out on the family and tradition that is right in front of me. I’m taking some intentional steps this year and I wanted to share in case you need it:
1. Do what your heart is comfortable doing. It’s already been broken, no need to add stress to that break.
2. If your loved one walked on this earth, share the good times about him or her as if he or she was right there reminiscing too.
3. Take it easy on others that truly are unintentionally insensitive. Unfortunately, some people know what they’re saying and say it, but some honestly don’t. Some forget that you’re still really struggling. If they’ve never lived it, they don’t get it.
4. Be as present as possible. **Remember #1 but don’t miss out on what’s around you.
5. Know that you are not alone and others miss your loved one as you do.
6. It’s perfectly fine to cry, even when you’re expected to be happy. **Remember #1.
7. Be in the pictures. Take plenty, but get in at least a couple.