Today is a day when we honor those who gave the last full measure in service to our country and our country’s wars.
It is a day to remember and mark with solemn gratitude the sacrifice of a life poured out.
You don’t have to agree with the reasons for a war to grieve the individuals who died fighting it.
Read the rest here: Why Memorial Day Matters
Sometimes the day or the week after a holiday seems extra hard.
Deflated. Exhausted. Weepy. Irritable. Discontented.
All words that can describe a heart once the dishes are washed and the celebration ended.
Some of y’all probably woke up thinking, “I did pretty good on Mother’s Day” only to be blindsided by the tears you managed to hide and the grief you managed to stuff.
That’s OK. It happens.
Read the rest here: Holiday Hangover
When it first happened all I could think about was getting through a minute, then a day and then all the decisions and days leading up to a funeral or memorial service.
There’s no road map.
Even when others come alongside (and many, many did!) there’s just no easy way to navigate that part of the journey.
And then I realized that in addition to all the “regular” days that absolutely, positively break your heart, I had to forge a path through “special” days.
It was overwhelming!
Mother’s Day was especially challenging that first year. Our loss was fresh and we’d had to acknowledge and celebrate two graduations and a wedding was about a month away. How in the world could I honor my living children and also safeguard my broken heart?
We muddled through by having Mother’s Day at my daughter’s apartment co-hosted by some of her sweetest and most compassionate friends. Not a lot of fanfare, but good food, good company and a quiet acknowledgment of Dom’s absence but also my living children’s presence.
It was a gift.
This is my tenth Mother’s Day. Every year is different. Every year presents new challenges and every year things change.
Since discovering there is an International Bereaved Mother’s Day my heart has taken advantage of having a day to think about and honor Dominic and then another day to think about and honor my living children.
I wrote this post six years ago but can’t really improve on it so I’ll share it again. I pray that each heart who finds Mother’s Day hard will lean in and take hold of the hem of His garment.
It’s really the only way.
Read the rest here: Mother’s Day as a Bereaved Mother
This will be the tenth Mother’s Day since Dominic ran ahead to Heaven.
Every year has been different because families continue to grow and change and the world turns and life marches on.
Every year presents unique challenges and particular paths that must be navigated anew. It’s always an emotional roller coaster.
Read the rest here: Holidays Can Be Hard-What To Do About Mother’s Day
International Bereaved Mother’s Day is observed the Sunday before Mother’s Day in the United States. This year it’s next Sunday, May 7, 2023.
I didn’t even know such a day existed until I was a mom that needed it.
For those of us who have children in heaven, setting aside a day to acknowledge that unique mother/child relationship is helpful.
Read the rest here: International Bereaved Mother’s Day
We don’t know what tomorrow will bring. We plot and plan and hope and dream but in the end we have very little control over how our story ultimately plays out.
So we are left each New Year’s Eve with some good memories, some not so good ones and some we cling to like gold from a treasure chest because they are all we have.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot and days of auld lang syne?
Read the rest here: New Year’s Eve and Auld Lang Syne
It’s a paradox really-that grieving hearts can be more anxious and more sorrowful BEFORE and AFTER a milestone day, birthday or holiday than on the day itself.
That’s not true for everyone, but it’s a frequent comment in our closed bereaved parent groups.
Fearful anticipation of how awful it MIGHT be can work me up into a frenzy.
Read the rest here: Post Holiday Blues: When The Grief Comes Crashing Down
This has been an odd (to put it mildly) Christmas season. I haven’t done half of what I normally do and now there’s no time to catch up and do it.
I’ve been off balance since the first of November, hanging on by the seat of my pants and just barely managing the necessities.
So I really, really, really needed to read what I wrote several years ago.
Back then there was no chance I’d produce a full-fledged, decked out spread for Christmas. But I’ve gotten better at it since.
Just not this year. So if you are falling behind or falling down, you’re not alone!
So many ways to be reminded of how hard it is to hold on in these days and weeks around Christmas.
If your heart is barely able to beat, the pressure to be “hap-hap-happy” can send you over the edge.
If your home is empty of cheerful voices, the constant barrage of commercials touting family togetherness can leave you feeling oh, so lonely.
Early sunsets and darker nights send feel-good hormones flying and leave a body aching for just a little relief from anxious and depressing thoughts.
When you think you can’t hold on, let go.
Read the rest here: When You Think You Can’t Hold On
I have always loved candles. Something in the flickering light speaks to my heart.
It’s one of my favorite parts of early evenings-watching the candles I light on every flat surface cast a soft glow and chase the darkness.
Even a small light offers hope.
Read the rest here: Remembering the Missing: Four Candles
I first shared this post in 2016 when we had muddled through the first two holiday seasons after Dominic left us and were headed for a third.
Now facing our ninth, there are some things that have changed a lot (adding grandchildren and losing my mama) and some things that remain the same (the ongoing struggle to balance everyone’s needs and expectations with the reality of sorrow).
I still find the principles I outlined years ago to be the best way to approach the season. We certainly don’t always get it right but we continue to strive to honor one another, to honor the true meaning of Christmas and to honor Dominic.
How do I honor the child for whom memories are all I have and love well the children with whom I am still making memories?
That’s a question I ask myself often.
And it is especially difficult to answer for celebrations and holidays, special events and birthdays.
Read the rest here: Surviving Siblings and Christmas