If you are like me, the closer it gets to the holidays, the harder it is to breathe. I try to ignore the pain in my heart, and the deep sadness as much as I can, but it still keeps coming back. The pain is very real, and time cannot take that pain away.

Every place I go, every young woman I see with a smile on their face, reminds me that Morgan is gone and can not share the upcoming holiday with us. There will always be that one empty chair at our table. 

On Thanksgiving, I will never again hear Morgan humming, while making her pumpkin gooey cake in the kitchen, or prepping her stuffed mushrooms. Never again, will I hear the keyboard playing music, along with her beautiful voice, as she sings and plays a song, while I cook for our guests.

I have so much to be grateful for, and I try to remember that every day, but at times like this it is so very hard. Sometimes, all it takes is a smell or a sound, or nothing at all, to reopen that wound, and crush me, right down to my soul.

With Thanksgiving arriving tomorrow, in order to survive the holidays, this is what I would like to share with all of you. 

Remember, there are NO rules when it comes to surviving grief. When missing a huge part of yourself, you need to do what feels right for you.

  • I have learned not to hide my feelings. I acknowledge my feelings, and let them happen. I no longer hide them from the the people around me. I know that I am not the same person I was before losing Morgan, and never will be again.
  • I always try to make the same foods Morgan loved over the holidays – somehow, I feel it still makes her happy.
  • Putting up the tree, seeing Morgan’s ornaments, like her fairies, her dragonflies, and all the ornaments she made as a child, makes me feel like she is still right here with us. Including Morgan, makes my heart feel less empty.
  • When possible, I try to go to at least one party…if I am too sad to go, I do not beat myself up, I just don’t go. Usually, once I go, it can be an uplifting experience. It’s just hard sometimes, because you never know what might trigger those emotional, negative feelings – just let your heart lead you, and not your mind. Grief is like living through an earthquake, you never know when those aftershocks will hit.
  • Changing things up has helped me in the past. Starting new traditions, going to new places, helping others going through similar feelings…this all has helped to lift my spirits.
  • Continuing the same holiday rituals we enjoyed with Morgan seems to induce calm, and it makes me feel a sense of order and control during this turbulent time. Feeling grateful. Remembering the beautiful light and love Morgan brought to all our lives makes me grateful to be her mother.
  • Love is the most important thing in this world and I am reminded of that every single day, because I was blessed to have Morgan in my life.

Where there is deep grief, there “is” great love…my thought of the day

When I saw this on Facebook I knew I had to share it with all of you. When you love someone so much, and they are no longer on this planet with you, of course you will grieve – and when the one you loved and lost is your child the pain is unmeasurable, and so it is with the grief – the grief felt when you lose your child is indescribable.

Grief is expressed differently by all of us, just as humans, we are all different…but that doesn’t mean the pain is any less. A sudden loss by a traumatic event is a life-shattering event – one that you may never recover from. I wish people would try to understand that there is no “getting over it.”  There is no closure. Parents need to be able to speak about their child, cry over the loss of their child and have loving, caring friends and relatives that will listen and not judge, so those parents can push forward into a new phase of life, a life  without their child…and that life can never be the same as it was for them before their loss – how could it be?

Being able to share the life of their child, all the memories and thoughts they have will give parents a way to lighten the pain…it doesn’t increase the pain, as some think, it actually helps with the grief process. Their child mattered. Their child is still loved. Just imagine trying to hold in all those thoughts and memories and never shed a tear? All those bottled up emotions can just eat away at your soul – so please, if you know anyone who has lost a child, please don’t try to change the subject and act cheery, thinking it will help – quite the contrary, the best thing you can do is sit and listen to the parents, just be there for them, they will feel your healing love, and it will be the best gift you can give them.