give it freely
My grandmother was
She was magical because
I felt loved
When I think of her now,
my heart gapes.
She and my Granddaddy were the sun to our earth, moon and stars. And at Christmas, our time together was brilliant.
There were endless cookies and candies that she and my mother produced from the oven. There were bag laden shopping trips to Heronimous and a slew of other department stores. There were visits to the mall where we’d ride the little train to see Santa, through the tiny cave with the elves making their toys, my heart clambering with excitement to see the man in the red suit and to whisper tentatively what I wanted for Christmas. There was Christmas Eve at my childhood home playing with the olivewood manger scene on the fireplace hearth and waiting – w a i t i n g – waiting for my grandparents Buick (exact model progressing with the decade of reference). When that car finally heaved up my parents steep, black asphalt driveway, joy was allowed to explode in my chest.
They were here!!!
My time with these people felt like this year round. Magical.
I can feel the magic, the joy, the space and light as I remember it in detail… her voice and her laugh, her lips brushing my cheek (and my subsequent wiping it off), her long fingers and manicured nails, her winter coat on my skin.
And in remembering, I choose to embrace the feelings as alive here and now.
When I remember, she is with me.
So I know.
That when I dive into this memory with all its sights, sounds, and beautiful textures, a flip will eventually sneak through. Most days.
A sadness. That their bodies are done now.
That they are lives complete.
I miss them.
I honor them each holiday with active remembering. And with time for active grief. Grief that I invite in with a compassionate and loving group of people that also recognizes this sacred act.
Over the past 5 years of my holiday Grief & Gratitude donation class, I’ve had the honor of sitting with people in their loss. Each year, it’s a small but intimate group. And we move a little (because this somehow makes it all a little easier), then we pour chai and sip a little, then we talk a little.
Some people stay quiet because they want to hold their memories that way.
Some people speak because they want to hold their memories that way.
Some people are filled with love for those that have passed.
Some people are confused about how they feel for those that have passed.
Some people have someone who is in the process of passing.
It looks all ways.
And there is space for all of it.
So whether you choose to join me in-person on Saturday, December 10th or it’s not quite right for you, please slow down to remember that which has passed this holiday. Do it in the way that fits what you need – in a church, in the chapel of nature, in your living room with a single lit candle.
Choose time to remember, choose time for the tears or anger or confusion. And know there is a group of us holding your grief with loving care.
Holding you with loving care.
Just as my Grandmother did for me.
With so much love,
p.s. Click here if you want to register. Or even if you don’t want to but decide you need to. That works too.