Reflecting on a Christmas Eve dinner at an Italian restaurant in San Rafael, California. It was at this dinner that I realized that this would be the first Christmas without either parent.
“We bereaved are not alone. We belong to the largest company in all the world—the company of those who have known suffering.”
The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.”
Elizabeth Kubler Ross
Mom and Dad
I knew Christmas was going to be hard. After all Mom died on April 1, 2017 and Dad followed on November 21, 2018. It was not long ago that I went through Dad’s funeral just numb. And that was followed by sitting next to his gravesite and trying to keep my composure together as Dad was about to be buried. Christmas was going to be painful so we shook it up and went to San Francisco. But even there the death of Mom and Dad hung over the holiday.
My sisters and I for Christmas Eve went to an Italian restaurant called II Davide. It is run by David Haydon in San Rafael, California. Its really exquisite and nicely done. The restaurant is first class with great service. On Christmas Eve as I looked over the menu I thought of what Dad would order. Dad would go for the shrimp, or scallops. The wine list would have thrilled him. It was at this restaurant that I realized that this would be the first holiday I would have without either parent. Its means that the family is broken, and that my ties to them is severed. But as I ate my meal my steak thoughts flooded my mind of imaging Mom and Dad sitting at the table with us. Dad would be talking about the wine, and Mom would say, “Come on Jack.” Can’t it be the reality? Why do loved ones have to be separated by death? It was a terrible holiday and honestly there was little reason to celebrate. But somehow the holiday carried on and it was over. The question I had inside me is how do you handle a holiday when you experienced the death of a loved one. In this case it is two loved ones back to back. As I wrote about the other day I am hoping that 2019 will get easier than 2018.