Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Missing Someone on Christmas

In my anxiety group last week, we talked about what makes Christmas hard for people. One thing that came up was remembering people we have lost that no longer share Christmas with us. Every Christmas, since my Grandpy died, I could still close my eyes and smell the Polish sausage as I walked through my Grandparents’ front door Christmas Day. My Grammy lived seven years after my Grandpy died, but it wasn’t the same. My Grammy hardly ever made traditional Polish food after the loss of her husband. In fact we lived with her after my Grandpy died because she didn’t want to live alone and my Grandparents had a three story house! Anyway, after my Grandpy died my Mom mostly made the food and it was more an American style Christmas. I do also miss my Grammy now; she would always give me lots of gifts. She really spoiled me. However, it wasn’t about the gifts, it REALLY was about the thought behind it. I would go shopping with my Grammy and if I said I liked something my Grammy would make a mental note and buy it later and surprise me. I was the whole memorization and surprise that made the gift special.

Now most of you that have been following my blog for a while know that my Uncle Dick died this past summer! He was my oldest Uncle and he was eleven years older than my next oldest Uncle. The reason being that my Grandparents were told that they would never be able to have children again! However after eleven years my Uncle Jim came along, followed by my Dad eleven MONTHS later, and finally my Uncle Bill five years later. Anyway, I never spent a Christmas with my Uncle Dick. I grew up in Chicago and we never traveled to New York during the winter months. And when we moved here to New York State we still didn’t travel the three hours to visit him because his area got a lot of snow. However, his was always the first Christmas card I received. Also as you know I would write to my Uncle Dick at least once a month. He had told me things I don’t think he told anyone else. So I was very close to my Uncle Dick.

Anyway, I had cried a lot when he died and then I seemed to heal. My Uncle Bill took my Uncle Dick’s ashes up way up New York State to the hunting camp my Uncles and Dad used as young men. Well, guess what? I get this little package from my Uncle Bill last week and I opened it. It was a sliver cross with some of my Uncle Dick’s ashes in it. Now first I want to say that is the most beautiful and thoughtful Christmas gift ANYONE has ever gotten me! However, I cried a cried a good hour. I cried because I missed my Uncle Dick, I cried because I wonder who is next, and most of all I cried because since this summer I had forgotten about my Uncle Dick. It’s hard the first Christmas without someone. Now I am not like other people that get to stare at an empty seat at Christmas dinner because, like I said, we never spent Christmas with him. However, he was still part of my Christmas tradition.

I heard it once said that it is good to feel pain after someone has died, it means that we truly had a connection with that person. I feel like I had a strong connection with my Uncle Dick and that I still do. My Uncle Dick led a good life, but didn’t find Jesus until the last decade of his life! I know he is in Heaven and I ask him to pray for me. I know that one day I will see him again. However, I also know that from time to time I will hurt. One of the things with a mental illness is to realize that we still have emotions and being sad and being depressed are too VERY different things. Yes, you can get depressed over the loss of a loved one. However, that you need you doctors help with. Being sad and realizing it is healthy is a good thing. In fact I think that grieving in a healthy way to ease depression and symptoms. So anyone missing anyone on Christmas I understand. However, our Savior was born on Christmas to save us from death. Remember!


  1. Very interesting post, you really opened up. I am glad that you can reflect on the good memories of Uncle Dick.

    I can sort of relate, I lost my aunt this past fall. I talked to her a few days before she died so I feel at peace with her and know that we had a good relationship. Like your Uncle Dick, she is in a better place.

  2. Thanks. Isn't different losing one of your parents brothers or sisters than your grandparents. It's weird because I always knew my grandparents were old, but now my Dad's brother died and I didn't think of them as old. I know many reading my blog have actually lost parents and that's got to be even weirder. Your aunt is certainly in a better place! Who know maybe my Uncle and your Aunt have met each other up there? Kind of cool, huh?