Grief and the Holidays

I consider I’ve experienced moments of grief in my life. These have been times of loss and doubt. Or both. 

Some I look back and wonder how I ever thought they were grief… good grief…

I am sure some of you can relate.

I remember the day I found out we were pregnant with our first child. It was not a joyous time. I felt like a failure because I was young, afraid and did not know who to turn to. 

Of all the things I thought could happen to me in that time of life, being a young mother was far removed from it all.

It did not help that the man I was expecting from was a stranger to me. And I was a stranger to him. 

Now I can see, I had plenty of support, I was taking it for granted.

This year, mid October my father-in-law passed away. Unexpectedly. Of all the things I could have imagined for us, loosing my father-in-law was far from my mind. 

There were behaviors and actions he displayed that were not good for him. Sometimes he was not easy to deal with.

He sometimes made it difficult for us to see him in public places. He had lost a lot of friends and contact with loved ones.

As parents, Ryan and I had set many boundaries for him.

Boundaries we did not want to have to set, but we thought these would help him do better. We wanted to have a functional, happy, healthy father and father-in-law.

More than anything I wanted my father-in-law to love our kids with a constant love. These behaviors were stealing his ability to provide that for them. For anyone really. 

I had a lot of faith that he would get help. We offered him all we could.

We thought we were getting close to finding a solution and he seemed almost willing to take help.

He was only 70.  I imagined  many more years with him. Him holding his great grand children and loving on them. Restored into a new life of freedom from all his hang ups.

But then he died. 

A few days before Christmas we found out a little more about how he died. 

I can’t describe the pain we felt to know these things. We still have questions that will forever in this world go unanswered. 

Doesn’t matter. 

Easter 2017. Last picture of Sammy with his boys, his pride and joy.

I have hope he is resting and free of the bondage of these things.


Christmas was tough. Tougher then I thought it could be, but yet it was a different sort of good. 

We enjoyed being with my mother-in-law but a few times I found it hard to swallow our meal and sat wondering. Wondering what it would be like if he were still here and well.

I am also grateful to God because even in the grief, He has brought to mind sweet memories of my father-in-law. I have been able to shared some with my husband and the kids.

Some memories I recall and forget almost immediately. I think it is helping us to get on to recall. 

I am grateful to the many neighbors, friends and family who ask us without reservation how we are. 

I understand reaching out to those grieving can be uncomfortable. 

Here is an article that was helpful for me: What Grieving People Wish You Knew At Christmas.

One thing I do regret; I regret not reaching out to those who have suffered in this time. Or anytime.

Even though things may seem well, grief is a rollercoaster of emotions. 

I pray you can find, or help someone find, the Merry and Happy in the Holiday season.

No matter what your grief is. 

Merry Golden Christmas 2018