This holiday season for our family kicks off on Thanksgiving. Last year on Thanksgiving we got up early and headed to the hospital to visit Darrick II, we spent a few hours with him so we could get back and spend the rest of the day with family and our other two kids.
As this year approaches I can’t help but feel a little anxiety because it’s the first Thanksgiving without Darrick II. We are supposed to be with family and after much talk with Darrick apparently we are feeling the same way with the anxiety.
Yesterday, as I went through the mail I found a card from the Cleveland Clinic Compassionate Hearts Unit, they send us cards often to let us know they are thinking of us and our child that passed away. Usually I let Darrick open the cards and he may tell me what it says or I read them myself. Sometimes it’s a little hard to read if I’m having a good day (as in no crying)…
I opened the card and noticed they had some tips for getting through the holiday if you are grieving. I don’t know why the end of the year is a heavy time for grieving but it is so they sent tips to cope…
I can’t thank the Cleveland Clinic Compassionate Hearts enough for these tips!
The one tip that stuck out the most to me was to Focus on You!!! Throughout this entire experience Darrick and I have found ourselves trying to keep life normal and we stay busy (not out of trying to cope or trying to forget; but life is busy and if you don’t slow down it never will slow down). But we have vowed to take time to focus on us and doing what we want and not being forced to do things out of tradition.
Everyone that was grieving with us last year have gone back to their normal lives. But for us, there is still a missing piece and it’s okay if we are selfish during this time! It’s okay to decline some invitations if we aren’t feeling up to it. It’s okay if we change up tradition and start something new in honor of Darrick II and our family.
But most of all don’t feel bad about enjoying the holidays…it’s ok!
As you celebrate your holidays with your family, I ask that you keep us in your prayers. And keep others that may be grieving as well!
Special Thank You to Cleveland Clinic’s Compassionate Hearts Unit and Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital!! We can’t thank you enough for the cards and helpful tips over the pass year to help us cope with the death of our son. I know you send this stuff to all families with these circumstances…but you have a special way of making us feel like each card is personalized specifically for us!!