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Love, Loss & the Holidays

Bittersweet holidays, love and loss. This may be my first blog written from my phone. I am compelled to write about this because there is this completely other side to the holidays that only some people know about. Those of us that the holidays are forever bittersweet. Those of us who have lost a close family member. For me the loss of my dad is what makes all of the holidays bittersweet. On the one hand I have these two amazing little loves who are experiencing all of the Christmas magic that we try to recreate for them and for us for as long as we can. That is the sweet.

Part of me turns back back into a little girl myself, longing for my dad to just be back here and I go through part of the holidays reminiscing about our past christmas’. This is mostly because it is the only way for me to bring him back for a moment. And then I feel the loss all over again. That is the bitter. It is a pain that sneaks up on you. It can be triggered by anything at any moment. I think that each kind of loss feels different depending on the nature of the relationship of course. I think it is different when a daughter loses her dad, than when she loses her mom. Same goes for a son when he loses his mom versus his dad. I think the loss and the intensity of that loss varies and you can’t really understand the pain until you’ve actually experienced it. That is the wisdom that comes with age and those specific experiences. You always hear that saying about wisdom coming with age and when you’re young, you think it’s kind of bullshit because you can’t really imagine that you’ll learn THAT much more when you go through it. After you’ve at least experienced it a little then you can only start to imagine how it must feel to lose the other parent or what other people are truly going through to cope with their loss.

And then there is the unfathomable loss of a child that I am terrified to even think about for too long. For these poor parents to have to outlive their children and then the loss of that is a pain that I swear must be out of this world. Now I can only speak as a mom, and I honestly don’t know how you get through the days after losing a baby (they're always babies when they're your children). When I lost my dad I had my son to live for and I had to be strong for him. Since becoming part of the motherhood community on the gram I have come across quite a few moms that have experienced the loss of a child. One mom is pregnant with her third and just lost her second who was 17 months old and passed away about 2 months ago. I cannot imagine what she is feeling. Her bittersweet must be such a tipped scale right now that there is no scale. I have never met her, I don’t even follow her, but I know about this. I’ve left her my condolences because as a mom that is the unimaginable for sure!

For most of us, each year that passes gets a little bit easier. Sometimes there’s a relapse though, it’s not a perfect science or even a science at all. The good news is that time does heal part of your soul. So now that I’ve totally bummed you out, what are your thoughts?

I find myself really sympathizing with a friend of mine who lost his father and he was really there for me when I lost mine. I feel a bond to him, but I also know that his loss is still much different than mine. The circumstances were different and he is man so I think that‘s different too. I actually think it is probably harder for a son to lose his dad provided that he felt fondly about him. I have another friend IRL who will most likely ready this and she has just lost her mom. Even though my mama and I have a very tumultuous relationship I really couldn’t imagine losing her. Mom‘s are and should be our true rocks. We are the ones no matter what don’t leave you when you need us and will drop everything for you forever. Well my friend is a rock herself and even though I know or at least can feel part of how hard these holidays, the first ones, are going to be on her, she is doing an amazing job!

I wish that I could leave this blog with a feel good uplifting ending like the movies that I so adore...I can’t really do that. I can tell you that it makes me hold onto my babies extra tight and I can only hope that is what you got out of this too. I hope that those that are hurting can relate to anything that I’ve said to know they’re not alone. I hope that maybe it can help the lucky ones that haven’t gone through it yet, empathize with their loved ones that have or are going through it right now. Holidays are wonderful and can be truly magical, but they can also magnify feelings of loss and lonelines. I know what helps me is thinking about what I want or would want for my children, which would be for them to find happiness inspite of losing me. Real love is wanting that person to be happy. I know that my dad loved me in that unselfish way that a parent should and he would definitely want me to be happy and enjoy all of these special moments with my kids. I believe that he is present with us in some of those moments, but that is a whole other conversation. None the less I believe he can share in those moments with us from a happier place because his body is no longer hurting him. These are the things that help me get over the hump, see the silver lining, and know that all of the highs and lows are fleeting. The feeling of devastation doesn’t last forever, but neither do the feelings of happiness, hope and peace. It’s just a bit of a rollercoaster for awhile that I’m hoping turns into a little more mellow boat ride “if you will”. Insert my smile because my dad used to say that all the time. Happy Holidays everyone!!! You never know what others are going through. Be kind. We all need it.

Our last Christmas with my Dad.