Facing the Christmas Holiday When You Are Dealing with Death

In a day I will be traveling to California. Its the first trip home since my Dad’s death and funeral. I am dreading the situation of being home and not having either Mom or Dad there this Christmas season. I just wish this could somehow be reversed somehow but that won’t happen either. 

“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.”

Washington Irving

Mom and Dad I love you. 

As I prepare to travel to California for the holidays there is one topic that has been hanging on my mind. Its been inescapable and I have seen much around me that reinforces the loss of my Mom and Dad. Going home was something that used to be special. I remember walking through the airport and seeing Mom and Dad standing there and waving. Hugging them and realizing I am home. Well that won’t happen this year or ever again. But I can’t accept the fact that it won’t happen again. This all feels like a dream. But its much more…

Its not seeing my Dad sit on the couch drinking wine. Or knowing and smelling my Mom’s home cooked dinner. With death it seems like every day is about re-living it in a million ways. You are reminded of your loss constantly and all the secondary losses as well. What makes it hard is that you want the world to stop while you re-collaborate and try and move forward. Sometimes like can seem dizzy in the bigger perspective. Or here is another aspect, you can hear other people talk about their parents and they have not been hit by this issue. For those in the D.C. area wrapped around their job who don’t visit their aging parents one day after a death they will be dealing with guilt. But as I prepare to go home its all going to come back to me. 

The empty house…

The absence of Mom and Dad, and the planned visit to the cemetery. 

The silence and the longing to hear their voice. 

The other day I read that the holidays are hard for those who are lonely who have experienced loss. Part of me is dreading this holiday season because of this loss. There are other people to see in California and I will be seeking them out. But this is the first time going home since Dad’s brain tumor and funeral. 

One thought on “Facing the Christmas Holiday When You Are Dealing with Death

  1. I also miss my parents and think of them a lot. One thing that I am very grateful for is that I was very fortunate to have had such loving parents. A lot of people do not have a good relationship with their parents – some have had very abusive ones! I am very glad to have the great memories that I have – it is comforting and I hope that one day maybe we will be together again. They left this earth many years ago but I often feel as tho my mom is beside me.


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