Column: Holidays a tough time for some, but it gets easier

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 5, 2005

The first Christmas after my dad died was very sad and awkward. There were many questions that needed to be answered.

How was mom’s emotional state going to be?

Who would carve the turkey?

Who would sing &8220;Silent Night&8221; the loudest at church?

What were we to do with the presents we had already bought for dad?

Who would hand out gifts?

That was the one that stuck with me the most, who would hand out the Christmas gifts? My dad had &045; from my earliest Christmas memory &045;

always handed out the gifts and now that he was gone, who would take on this precious task? Who would ever be good enough to take my dad’s place handing out the gifts of love to his kids that he and my mom had worked all year saving to buy? Who, dammit, I wanted to know, who? Nobody was better than my dad at that task; he was born to do it. I thought it best we cancel Christmas that year because no one person can ever replace my dad at handing out the gifts, no one person could ever replace my dad, I thought to myself.

When you first lose someone, it is difficult to realize life goes on. After my dad died, I remember being amazed people were still running around, happy, smiling, going on like any other day. Didn’t they know my dad had just died, the central person in my life? Didn’t they care that my heart was just ripped out of my chest. Didn’t they knowŠ

That is usually when the sad truth hits you right between the eyes &045; life does go on, days do go by and the sun

comes up again.

The first Christmas after my dad died, my mom had me hand out the gifts and although it was tough, I made it through.

We all still went to church. We all cried during &8220;Silent Night,&8221; but we all still made it through.

We had ham that Christmas, not turkey and we all still made it through.

As for my mom’s emotional state, she cried when she opened up her presents from my dad, but she was the strongest. She not only made it through, she guided us through the holiday season that first year.

You see, even though the holidays are tough when you lose someone special, you make it through.

I believe you owe it to your lost loved one to go on and tell people about them, to let people know how special they were to you and to reflect on the great times you had with that person.

At first you may just be silent &045; that’s OK.

It may take awhile to laugh without guilt &045; that’s OK.

It may take awhile to share your stories &045; that’s OK.

The laughter may be mixed with tears &045; that’s OK.

The events you share may seem trivial &045; that’s OK.

Remember, it’s all OK.

To anyone who has lost someone special this year &045; bless you and stay strong.

It gets easier, I promise.