by Hannah Joyce
It’s the holiday season, and we all know it’s a stressful time of year for people already without having to deal with the loss of a loved one.
In July, I lost my Meme. She died of congestive heart failure. It came on fast. One day she was her lively smiling self and the next she came down with this awful illness. I watched the life fade from her eyes. I watched my Meme leave this world. It was one of the hardest things I have ever experienced. I would give anything to have her here for the holiday season.
In this article, I want to talk about grief. I want to talk about how everyone griefs in their own way. Just within my own household, my mom, my dad, and I all grieve in different ways. My dad and I are similar in our behavior in how we handle stress and our emotions. We are the type of people that bottle it up. We feel like we have to be the strong ones. We have to take care of everyone. My mom is a powerful woman, but she is definitely a crier. She feels all of her emotions, and with the loss of her mom, it has broken her heart just like it has to my dad and me.
Christmas was my Meme’s favorite holiday when she was here. She had this obsession with snowman. I feel that the best way to honor her is to continue on with life. Not forget her but honor her through living our best lives. She was so proud of me and told everyone she could about how I was going to college. She wrote down where I was going and what I would be studying on a piece of paper so she wouldn’t forget. Unfortunately, she died before I started college but that didn’t stop me from pursuing my education if anything it has been a bigger motivator. I don’t want to disappoint her. I am channeling my grief into living my best life for my Meme. My mom, on the other hand, has not stopped living, but in some ways she has. She told me the other day that if it wasn’t for me still being at home that she most likely would not have sat up the Christmas decorations. This really annoyed me and I didn’t understand but looking back I see that it just hurts too much. The hurt my mom is feeling is too much, she doesn’t know how to deal with it. Her way of dealing with it is talking about it, this is completely opposite for me, I don’t want to talk about. I just want to live.
We all have the right to grieve how we need too. We need to respect how others grieve. Take some time this holiday season to recognize that everyone has their own struggles within the holiday season and why they love it or hate it. Respect that and just be there for your loved ones. Be the shoulder to lean on.