Saturday, January 3, 2009

A New Year is upon us..and things I have learned through grief

My mom with our dog Christmas 2007

My oldest daughter with her dog and ours Christmas 2008


It is a New Year... 2009....the evening news continues to be challenging...as well as Chicago weather..it is winter...the holidays are over...and it is my first year without either one of my parents..

but through this time, there are some things that I have appreciated and learned while I have been going thru the grief of this past month....



I wanted to share them...maybe they can help if any of you are going thru anything.....



(these are in no particular order)



1. Animals...My daughter came from out of town and brought her dog all the way across the ocean to see us...(we have another dog here)... Having 2 dogs were actually a real help...they hugged and let me cry anytime I wanted to.



2. Family......Having my daughters all around has been wonderful...having family around during times of grief is more appreciated than anyone could know. Even my brother was my best friend this whole holiday season. (and I think that is the first time since I was about 5!)



3. Cards, notes, letters, emails...all are so GREATLY appreciated during times of grief..they are like using crutches to get you through to the next steps. Anything spoken or shared gives so much strength....it is amazing the type of strength that the gift of kindness and sympathy has for the person who has lost someone.



4. Photos....um...need I say more...I love them...I surround myself with them..and they help, making you know just how precious that person was. (you should see my computer room..it is a picture wall)



5. Videos...I came across old videos at my moms home..and we turned them on..and there was my family 20 years ago...on a summer day..and it was soo nice to see my parents and my children when they were small..and me when i was smaller too!! (ha) oh we live in a wonderful age..where we have so many things to keep the memories alive and close to our hearts.



6. Time alone... to think...to pray....to cry....to be grateful.



7. Candles.....hmmmm...an old tradition..people light candles for people all the time...i just love the smell and the flicker.......the warmth they generate...



8. Google....I google all the time..stories of others who have lost and what they have felt....it helps to read and to learn from everyone...although we all know it is coming ..a day when we have no parents...we are never really ready.



9. Friends....all of you...internet friends...my girlfriends...my mothers old friends...friendship..one of lifes greatest gifts.........


10. Old letters.....old cards...old writings.....have brought me so much comfort...my mother saved it all...and for all of that I am grateful.....



Have a wonderful new year....Make all sorts of new memories...and dont forget to take loads of photos!!!(someday your children will love you for it!)
Cathi





2 comments:

Moonlight Hollow Musings said...

I am glad that you survived the holidays and learned some wonderful life lessons which you can share with others who need your wise words.

The pictures of your mother and your daughter are beautiful!

I read the most moving story on the loss of a mother. If you have not read it, I hope you do. Please go to the following web address:
http://www.lileks.com/about/mom/index.html.

You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

Malisa

Sandra said...

Dear Cathi, thank you for your thoughts on grief. What you wrote has really helped me. I still cry out of the blue over Dad's passing. I have photos of him everywhere both images of when he was young and even photos of when he was sick. I just wish he was still here enjoying his family and living life with all of us. Thank you again, Sandra

 
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