Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A siblings view of the holidays...

When a child dies in a family - everyone is affected - not just immediately but forever.. Yes the ways in which we are each impacted are different, but nonetheless each persons grief and heartache are important and need to be recognized...  As the holidays approach, I thought it might help to glance inside the heart of a sister, who lost her brother - although we don't know her or her brother, her heartfelt story allows us to celebrate their family ...Happy Birthday Sean-you aren't forgotten...Cherie Houston

~ by Traci Morlock, a Bereaved Sibling - BP/USA St. Louis Chapter

The worst time of the year for me is the holidays. I guess the worst part of the holidays is the changing of the seasons.  My brother, Sean, always loved Fall. For him it was a romantic time of the year. Sean’s birthday is November 11, the height of Fall. So, the holiday season begins for me with the first leaf falling off the tree. As Sean’s birthday approaches, I find myself getting sadder and sadder. I never know how much I really miss him until I realize he’s missed another birthday. As the other holidays grow nearer, I begin to dread them more.

The first year, no one wanted to have Christmas, but we felt we needed it for my daughter. Her birthday is Christmas Eve and she turned two that year. Doing Christmas for her makes it a little easier but, at the same time makes it that much more difficult.

Sean thought we needed holidays all year long. While helping my Mom put up Christmas decorations, I look at our family picture above the piano, the last of the five of us. I told my Mom that we would never be that happy again. I know that is a sad thing to say, but I know a part of me will always be missing.

Each year I feel a numbness set in over the holidays. The numbness begins around Sean’s birthday and ends after the first of each year. Sean’s been gone almost four years (can it be that it’s been that long?)

The year of Sean’s death, my Mom didn’t know what to do with the ornaments that Sean had collected over the years. The Christmas before Sean died, my Mom purchased a miniature tree for the family room. Sean made fun of it. The next year, Mom purchased Sean his own miniature tree for the family room. Sean’s tree is filled with all of his ornaments and his used guitar strings for tinsel. Sean’s tree goes up right after Thanksgiving and doesn’t come down until after January 24th, the anniversary of his death. This tree has actually helped to make the holidays seem a little brighter. 

A part of my brother is there in that tree. I was out shopping a few weeks ago and I bought an ornament that would go perfectly on Sean’s tree. The ornament is the first one I have purchased for Sean since he died. Just buying that one ornament has actually made me look forward to the holidays.

I know the holidays will never be the same without our “Holiday Clown,” but we will make new memories, laugh and cry at the old ones, and just survive this time of year. I wish you a peaceful holiday season filled with precious moments and happy memories. I also hope that you can share a smile.  Peace, Traci Morlock   

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