Thursday, November 20, 2014

Celebrate Anyway

I have been reading posts about the holidays, how awful they are when a loved one has died, how hard it is for all who are grieving. Well, I have had a different experience. Our 8 year old son died in July of 1991. He is one of five siblings. My husband and I both come from large families. Holidays, especially Christmas, are a BIG deal in our family. After the Runner died I grieved deep and hard. It pushed the depression I already lived with even deeper. The holidays were a relief to me. It got me out of my house and out of my own little grief filled head.  Also in my world that had suddenly changed into a dark scary place, the ancient carols and the Christmas story remained the same. That was a great comfort to me. We always include the Runner in all our memories and celebrations; no one has ever had a problem with that. Yes, it is different, sometimes we cry and someone is missing but celebrations are still important. 

With big families someone is always missing because they live far away, may be traveling or celebrating with the other side.  My sister's oldest son died when he was two. She now has a big family and for many years would never have a family photo taken because one was missing. Then one year she came to the conclusion at some point her kyds grow up, one by one they would leave home and not be in the picture anyhow so she takes family photos now with whoever is there.  
Celebrate anyway. Choose joy. Wear red boots for courage.


  1. Good words, Pat. I get it. Deb

  2. So proud to call you my sister. Mary.

  3. is time of joy! Our savior...the one who is building a mansion for alive and well!

  4. Amen! We made our Holidays even more special after my mom died by remembering her... and it IS hard to take a "family" photo when a child is missing, but we still want to capture the living children. I have been trying to figure out a way to quietly include Elijah in our family photos, with maybe a toy/stuffed animal, and it would be something just I would know was in the photo to remember Elijah.