If You're Missing Someone This Holiday

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Growing up, my Aunt Kathy was the Queen of Christmas. She hosted every other year at the cozy townhouse she shared with my uncle and two cousins -- her daughters. Even before her kids were born (the oldest is nine years younger than me), she took my brother, cousins, and me in to build gingerbread houses, play games, watch movies and get in the holiday spirit. Her house was always decorated to the nines and she chose Christmas gifts for each of us with care. One of my favorite Christmases she hosted was only a few years ago -- my grandma, grandma's longtime companion, and my great uncle were all still alive and were seated with the rest of us at a long and crowded table set up in her family room. Aunt Kathy had come up with a game to play where we sang Christmas carols while passing one of many wrapped gifts around the table until we had to stop and whoever was holding the gift got to keep it. The older folks were sort of holding up the line ;) and it made us chuckle, but mostly beam with happiness because we knew how precious their presence was; perhaps their time was limited. But Aunt Kathy's was, too.

We lost her last New Year's Eve, in the last minutes of 2016, after years of bravely battling cancer. This first Christmas without her has held so many reminders of her for our family. She was such an integral part of our holiday. She infused magic into it, even last year as she faded away despite her best efforts to hide it from us.

And so, as magical as this year has been with my two daughters at such fun ages to enjoy this holiday and everything that comes with it, it's also been difficult. I know that I'm far from alone -- I know that there are many of you out there who may also be struggling a bit (or greatly) through this season, whether you're grieving lost love or lost life. I want to extend my arms out to you. Sometimes the occasions that are supposed to be the merriest are the most difficult when we're missing someone. What has helped me this year is to pay close attention to the kindness of others and other little reminders of the true spirit of the season -- when I've felt down, those reminders have lifted me up, and I like to think my Aunt Kathy might have something to do with that.

Warmest wishes for a peaceful holiday, and hugs from afar.


  1. The holidays really make you miss the loved ones who have passed. I am so sorry.

    1. For sure! It's such a joyful time but can also be hard -- and I feel like I know so many people who are going through something hard right now. Thanks for your thoughts. <3


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