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Holidays, Losing a Parent


Every year it seems that once the month of October arrives, everyone begins to get into the festive spirit, for this commences the time of year that holds all the most important family holidays. It has begun to be dark in the morning. The sun sets earlier in the evening. Temperatures are beginning to fall. Soon the leaves will change color. Fall foliage is emerging, and then that too will fall to begin the winter season.

Everyone seems to be engaging in fun family fall activities, like pumpkin carving, apple picking, and Halloween festivities. These were things I used to look forward to, but now are things I fear.

I, like many of you, am in my first year after losing my parent. I am anxious about the holiday season and how different it will be since there is a huge piece missing. I cannot picture walking into my mother’s house and seeing it not decorated with witches, caution tape covering doors, and pumpkins throughout. But this year, it will for sure not have the things she always did.

It is even harder to picture going to Thanksgiving dinner and not seeing my mother struggling to make a turkey, all the sides, and dessert. She always did.

And It is impossible to fathom that I won’t go to her house this Christmas and find her in her Christmas pajamas with presents labeled “from Santa.”

The holidays come with a sense of dread and anxiety. I’m sure many of you – especially those experiencing the first holiday season without your loved one – are feeling this as well.

I think it is important during this time … that we all take gentle care of ourselves. Here’s to wishing everyone a happy, healthy, and safe Fall and holiday season; I hope this may help anyone who is beginning to have these feelings emerge as well.

You are not alone.

About the Author

Wisdom From Our Community

"Wisdom From Our Community" posts originally appeared on the Alliance of Hope Forum for Suicide Loss Survivors and are reprinted with the permission of the authors. Our online forum transcends time and distance, offering a culture of kindness, hope, and understanding to people who have lost loved ones to suicide. Operating like a 24/7 support group, our forum is supervised by a mental health professional and moderated by a trained team of loss survivors. Members can read and comment, share their stories, and connect with other suicide loss survivors.Read More »