How To Get Through The Holidays When Those You Love Are Gone

Over a year and a half ago, my mom died.  She had a long, drawn-out illness that had incapacitated her for a couple years prior to her passing.  It was hard to watch, and even harder to see her go.  I go through the seasons missing her all the time.  Some days are easy.  I’ll look up at the sky, and see the clouds, and smile.  Others, like around the holidays, can be very tough.

The sights and sounds of the holidays always remind me of her.  Even something as common as a Christmas tree, and I’m crying inside.  I know she wouldn’t want that for me, but I can’t help it.  She made Christmas so special for me and my brothers and it just became a part of the fabric of who I am.  She was a strong believer in family, and when she was younger as a full-time mom of four sons, she instilled that belief in us.

For the longest time after she died, I would talk to her all the time.  About anything, about problems, hopes, dreams.  About my son, my wife, friends, enemies, even God.  Sometime over the past year, that just stopped.  It wasn’t that it wasn’t healthy, or even crazy, I just stopped talking.  I’m not sure why, but I know lately I’ve been missing her a lot.  Last Christmas was okay.  But this one, it’s been hard to make it through the days without thinking about her a lot.

I know death is a part of life, but I don’t want life to be about death.  I’m not sure if that makes any sense.  There aren’t any easy answers about this kind of stuff.  What I do know is my son needs me.  He always has.  Someone commented recently how much he looks like his grandmother, and I never saw the connection.  But I see a lot of her in him.

I’m going to talk with Mom again.  I miss her a lot.  I wish she was here to celebrate the holidays with my family, but in a way she is.  In every Christmas light I see, every church, every song I hear on the way to work, and in the smiles and warmth I see in the eyes of those who love the holidays.

Merry Christmas Mom, I love you.

Guest Article by my son Jacob…sad day @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de @Apl_Jax @ecpaige @RCEAPrez #netde #eduDE

Hi.  My name is Jacob.  My dad writes this blog about special education, but today I wanted to write an article about my friend Ray.

Ray was my pet fish.  He was a Beta.  That’s why we named him Ray.  He was with us for a year and a half, but he died this morning.  He was a good fish, and I loved him very much.  I miss him.  He never had anything against me.  My cat Boots always wanted to eat him, but I think they were best friends.  I drew a picture of Ray today and I cried a lot.