I miss these little feet and sweet ankles and knees I used to nibble on.
I miss this mighty little man of God. This picture was taken one year ago today. There isn’t anything I don’t miss about Noah. I wish the tears that were flowing right now were soaking his head, like we used to do so many nights…
Our assignment was to make preparations for the holidays. This was a powerful time because each parent in the room had different fears or apprehensions about the upcoming dates. Many plans have been rearranged or changed altogether in order to lessen the pain. One mom will be trudging through her second holiday season without her daughter. Her husband has left her, his family no longer comes around, she made no mention of her own family, just she and her two boys, alone all day, her not motivated to cook a meal and finding no reason to celebrate. The dad in the group that has lost 3 children in the last 3+ years encouraged her that perhaps all she stopped doing the first year may be reintroduced over time. Just because she didn’t do that particular tradition the first year doesn’t mean she has to stop it altogether. Sitting there, I couldn’t help but think of so many other people who have lost someone they love, whether a child or spouse or parent or friend or whomever. The point of our discussion and the goal of our homework over the next week and even as time continues, is to establish memories, ways to remember those we miss dearly. I am very grateful that this is our topic for the next couple of weeks because even as I think of Noah on countless occasions throughout the day, I have not made memorials, really, and it makes the last year and a half all the more distant.
One facilitator stated that this is where we as the grievers need to state our thoughts and desires plainly so there is no guessing. We need to take responsibility to mention our child’s (or your loved ones) name and say that for which we are thankful. They gave us a sheet titled, “Creating Memorials”, which has many suggestions as to ways to remember and help others remember. Our experience is different, as is the next guys, but we were in the hospital last year at this time. We spent the holidays and my birthday in the hospital and so, for me, not being there this year will leave an emptiness in my heart. We will likely head over to the new hospital on Thanksgiving to try to encourage other families experiencing now what we did just one year ago.
Please, understand I am not stating this for my own benefit because my life is full and my heart runs over with love and generosity everyday from family and friends. I really do hope this has become a resource of encouragement for others who are also grieving or for those of you who are standing alongside friends and family in their loss. But as the holidays quickly approach, don’t let the time pass by without acknowledging the memory of the person who is no longer here. Light a candle, make a toast, lead out in prayer, giving thanks for that person, give the widower flowers…whatever you do, don’t ignore the elephant in the middle of the room or it might just sit on your face.