In anyone’s life there are bound to be what Oprah Winfrey called “aha moments”…those times when something triggers a reaction and all of the pieces of the puzzle come together… my friend Joe would refer to it as “putting 2 and 2 together”. When you are grieving, those “aha moments” may become the moments you pinpoint why you feel the way you do and then you can then work on making it different.
Recently I had the privilege of joining a bereavement group for their Christmas seminar. And it was then that I was able to “put 2 and 2 together”…somebody said something that made something click for me…something that Makaila had said to me just a few days before.
The first few Christmases after my sister died were difficult for me and instead of understanding it, I avoided it. I had a job that required someone to work on Christmas Day, so I volunteered since I didn’t have children. When the day came when I did have children my mother recognized my struggle and said “you’ve got to make Christmas special for your children so that they will have good memories”. And so I did.
My youngest daughter now fourteen has this thing about acknowledging same digit times or dates by making a wish. We were together and she said “it’s 11:11 and I made a wish. My wish is that tomorrow you can be happy”. I passed her comment off, citing that I was deep in thought or trying to make a deadline. But as I listened to others at the seminar who are sorting out Christmas, I realized that there are things that I have never allowed myself to feel…things that surface at Christmas time that make me unhappy. And what I learned that day as I sat amongst this group was not only how powerful it is to be in the company of others who share the same concerns (bereavement groups are wonderful things) but that it’s never too late to grieve.
This is my last Musing before Christmas Day. My wish for you this Christmas is for someone who has walked this road before to walk beside you for awhile, and that someday you will pay it forward and walk beside someone else who needs a friend. That would be the best gift you could ever give.