Last evening, December 1st, I spent the evening with my lovely daughters Michele and Ashley putting up our Christmas tree, a tradition we started in December 2000 after my son’s death from injuries sustained in a car accident. December 1 is my son, Clarence’s birthday. He loved Christmas, and to kick off the holiday season, celebrating his birthday by decorating the Christmas tree in his honor helped in our healing. Last night was no different. It’s been 22 years, and we still honor him on his birthday. We laughed so hard we were up until 3:00 am.
Grieving a loved one is never easy. It’s sometimes an overwhelming emotion and should not be taken lightly. Allow yourself time to heal. It’s good to have people around you, but more importantly, find time to be by yourself to process the stages of grief; denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Coming to grips with the truth can be difficult, recognizing that the things you once shared are no longer possible, like sharing a meal and going to the movies.
I am no stranger to grief. My mother, father, paternal, and maternal grandparents are deceased, along with all but one aunt, and the holidays can get rough. Especially., when the few family members remaining are estranged for whatever reason. Everyone deals with grief differently, which makes sense because we are all different. You may be experiencing a difficult time in your life, the death of a loved one.
Don’t stop living. Keep moving because the world will not stop with you. You can look up, and five days, weeks, months years, have passed, and you are in the same place.
When my son died, I longed to hear his voice. He was a freshman in college when he died, and Facebook (Meta), Instagram and other social media platforms were not even heard of, which now appears to be the best way of staying connected. Although, I knew he wasn’t going to answer the phone. I would call his dorm room to listen to his answering machine. Eventually, his dormitory room telephone was disconnected, and that was the last I would hear his voice, a hard pill to swallow. Everyone had returned to their life, and I was missing him, and I didn’t want his voice silenced. So, I was led to write my first book, My Whisper from God.
The death of a loved one is very hard, and getting through the holidays reminds you what and how things were. Looking around the room to see the faces and voices that are missing. Don’t try to get through the holiday season. Try to Embrace it. Getting through the holidays will leave you empty and in the same place of hurt and compounded with more grief. Seek a way to honor that special someone.
We’ve come a long way. My being here is a witness to you that you will make it. Decorating the Christmas tree is our way of embracing the holidays. Although my son is not here physically, the laughter and memories shared prevent him from dying twice, physically and emotionally. Physically, he is gone. Emotionally he lives on through us. So, if you see me (Rachelle Diane) on social media posting about him, it’s not because I’m sad. I’m honoring him. Find a way to honor that special one. Their legacy will live on through you.
Director & Founder of How Come, How Long
Writer | Author | Blogger