Sunday, December 18, 2011

Another View of the Holidays

This next week, which leads up to and includes Hanukkah and Christmas Day for many moms, dads, and grandparents who are grieving the loss of their beloved child or children, grandchild or grandchildren ~ can be quite overwhelming.  I keep reminding myself of the words of many “seasoned grievers” that the anticipation is almost always worse than the reality.. This is our 3rd Christmas without our son Bobby, and in some ways it seems to be the most difficult yet... 
Yes – one week from today, Christmas Day will be here – Hanukah will be in full swing and I want to share with you an article which I have tucked in my wallet and bring out from time to time, but especially this week, to remind me of two things:
1)  To remember and concentrate on the 36 wonderful Christmas Days I had with my son Bobby, for which I will be forever grateful-I wasn’t able to have even one Christmas with either of his little sisters
2)  And just as importantly to force myself to focus on my family who are still alive - my husband Dan, our 4 wonderful sons and their families, which include our incredible 9 grandchildren.  How can I allow my grief to miss their joy of this season, because I don’t know what tomorrow will bring and I wouldn’t want to regret missing this time with them..

So I truly hope this will help you in some small way, as it has helped me since Bobby’s death in 2009… It's not easy, but sometimes if we look at things a little differently, it can help us to overcome our fear and anticipation... Cherie Houston

Another View of the Holidays
~ Written by —Jim Hobbs, Jesse’s Father, Denton, TX, From “Where are All the Butterflies?” – BP/Bereaved Parents

Every time I sit down to write my remarks, I like to believe that I’m a wizened old soul who knows other’s pain and how to soften it. That’s what I’d like to believe; but in truth, I’m only half right. I am an old soul who knows other’s pain. With the anticipation of the approaching holidays in mind, pain may become much greater for bereaved families. Having survived two of the holiday seasons since my son Jesse’s death, I can tell you that in my case, the anticipation was the worst part. When Christmas day ended last year, my wife and I were amazed that it had not been nearly as dreadful as we had imagined that it would be. Jesse has not been with us physically these past two years, but his memory will always be sharing our Christmases.

A part of my Christmas will be spent remembering. Memories certainly don’t erase the pain or make up for the physical absence, but one line from the play Steel Magnolias, was “I’d rather have thirty minutes of wonderful, than a lifetime of nothing special.” That line reminds me that I have three whole really wonderful Christmas days to remember as long as I live, wherever I go.

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