It is hard to lose a loved one. How do you remember someone who has passed away? How do you move forward with your life and take them with you?
There are moments in our lives that leave us forever changed. For me, November 14th is that date. It’s the day my Mom passed away and my family was altered.
It’s been seventeen years since my Mom passed away. Seventeen years since I saw her, hugged her, heard her voice.
Learning to live with this loss and the sadness it has caused me has been hard. If you’ve been through this, you understand. I don’t think it’s ever easy to lose a loved one. In some ways, it’s the flaw of life: to have people in our lives who we love with all our hearts and then have them physically leave us. Grief can be a tricky thing to deal with and I know many of you have struggled with this in your own lives.
The sadness I felt after my Mom passed away and the greatness of the loss could have destroyed me, if I had let it. I knew I had to find a way to make peace with this loss and not let it poison my life. I owed it to myself and to my Mom. If there’s anything she taught me in the time we were blessed to have, it was to cherish each day of my life, to recognize how beautiful the world is and not to waste the blessings I’ve been given.
I also know it’s easier to say these words than live them.
Somehow, I’ve managed to find a way to move forward with my life while taking my Mom with me. There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t think about my Mom. I cherish my beautiful memories and keep them close to my heart.
Since my children never got to know my Mom, I’ve struggled with how to bring her into their lives. How to help them get to know her. This hasn’t been easy.
How do you remember a loved one?
I remember growing up, hearing about family members who had passed away before I was born. I never had a connection with them and I didn’t want this to be the case with my children. I wanted them to understand who my Mom was and how much she means to me.
Fortunately, we came up with a tradition that has worked.
Every year on my Mom’s birthday and on the anniversary of her death, we eat ice cream sundaes. It was a food she loved and I think she would adore that we take the time to think of her while enjoying this delicious treat. A treat we don’t have very often.
It’s a way for me to bring my kids and my Mom together, doing something fun.
As my kids have gotten older, I see how this tradition has impacted them over the years and how positive it has been for all of us. Some years, we grab sundaes from a drive-thru and eat them on the way home from an activity, trying to fit this tradition into our schedule. Other years, we have a more elaborate ice-cream sundae bar at home. What I’ve learned is that it doesn’t matter how we do it.
The important thing is that we take the time to remember.
If you’ve lost someone special to you, I’m sorry. I know how hard it is to live without someone you love and I hope you’re able to find a way to make peace with your loss. Don’t let it destroy you. You must make the most of your life, of the time you have, even when you’re missing someone.
Try to find a way to bring that person into your life. Come up with a tradition. It will help you to feel closer to the person you miss. I know it’s not the same as having that person here with you. But, it is something and something is better than nothing.
Think of my family on November 14th, eating ice cream, laughing and making the most of the time we have together. I choose to believe my Mom is smiling down on us, wrapping us in her love and happy that we’ve found a way to connect the generations of our family.
Find meaning each day,
Here’s a recent Huffington Post article, If You Have Kids Living In Your Home, How Clean Does It Need To Be?