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A Lighted Village Shop
Holidays, Losing a Child

A Lighted Village Shop

I opened the Christmas bin and pulled out the lighted village shops one by one. Over the years, I collected about a dozen Lemax shops, churches, and accessories that we’ve set up under our tree. Each one was a gift from my husband or one of the kids.

For the first two Christmases, after Adam died in 2019, I left the bin untouched. I just didn’t have the energy to do much holiday decorating. I eked out the bare minimum. But this year, I braved the bin. It wasn’t easy, I can tell you that! In fact, a gut-punch grief wave interrupted my decorating session. It was so intense, I had to sit down. Thankfully, my husband let me cry and talk my way through it.

“Merry Christmas – From Adam ’07”

What caused the wave? A village shop – Longs Drugs (the company now owned by CVS). It was a gift from Adam in 2007 when he was 16. He worked at Longs/CVS for five years until he moved away to finish college. Those were good years. He was healthy, doing well in his studies, played guitar in a band, enjoyed friends, and had a life full of adventure. 

As I held that village shop in my hands, the memories came flooding back. The last five years of his life were so dark. Mentally, he simply unraveled, and we couldn’t bring him back. But this lighted shop transported me to a time filled with such hope for his future.

Two and a half years into this grief journey, I’m finally able to embrace both the hard, painful memories, as well as the beautiful, bright ones. For me, it was a HUGE victory. I really enjoyed my lighted village this Christmas season. Of course, the lighted Longs store will always have a special place in my heart.

Thanks for letting me share.

About the Author

Mary Gilzean

Mary Gilzean lost her 28-year-old son to suicide in May 2019. She joined the Alliance of Hope community the following year, which has been a safe port in this grief storm.Read More »