A Holiday Letter to My Loved Ones Who Have Passed On

A Holiday Letter to My Loved Ones Who Have Passed On

For some reason this holiday season, you are weighing heavily on my mind and in my heart. I’m not sure if its just that I miss you because I have missed you everyday that you’ve been gone. It just seems more than that right now.

Oh there are so many things I wish I could tell you. There are so many things I wish you were here to experience with all of us. There have also been some things that I’m glad you did not have to go through, even though we could’ve used you! But what I want to tell you at this point is that I don’t want to be sad anymore. I don’t want to live with such sadness and grief that I miss out on so many other things. Yes it is terribly sad for me and this world that you aren’t here, but you left so many good things behind. It seems wrong if I don’t learn to cherish the memories that I have and live the example that you left for me.

I will remember your big infectious smile. Sometimes that smile was of pure joy. Sometimes it was of mischief. Nevertheless, it was definitely catching. No one around you could resist to return a smile when they saw your face. Even thought your smile was for anyone who happened around, when I saw it I felt it was just for me. So instead of crying, I’m going to remember your smile and smile in return.

I will remember your hearty laughter. I cannot ever remember a time when you were around, that there was no laughter. You were a joy to be around. You loved to tell stories, pull jokes, play with us and our toys. So instead of sadness, there will be laughter. I am going to find the humor in this old world around me.

I remember your adventurous spirit. If it was dragging a bunch of misfits through Disney World or cheating during a race through a maze, you were always up for adventure. I can’t think of a time when you weren’t ready to take a bunch of people (because there’s always a bunch of us) somewhere fun. And if we were taking you, you’d meet us at the road because you were ready to go. So instead of missing out because I’m mourning, I’m following your example and taking it on the road!

I can remember how welcoming you were. When it was a little tow headed 3 year old standing on your porch looking for Sponge Bob Pop Tarts, you pulled out your secret stash. When it was the Avon lady, you always brought her right in after a big hug. (I loved when she visited because of those tiny red lipstick samples she gave me!) It didn’t matter who it was, they were greeted with your big smile and usually a hug. Well there was that one time, that you pulled that Peeping Tom from behind the tree. From what I’ve been told, you weren’t so welcoming to him. So Peeping Tom aside, I am going to open my heart and myself to be more welcoming to others because you showed me how .

I can remember how generous you were. There was never a time that I knew of when you did not give fully. You gave love, you gave kindness and you gave in full. There was no holding back out of fear or sadness. You just gave. So I’ll give. I will give back what you have shared with me. I will do it without fear and resentment. I won’t let your generosity stop with me.

I will remember how strong you were. Even up to the very end of your days on this earth, you were strong. You fought. Your resilience was amazing. We all knew you had suffered great and tragic losses in your years, but you stayed strong. You were able to withstand many storms of life, but you got up everyday, usually put on some lipstick and trudged on. There had to be some days that you just didn’t feel like it, but you stayed the course and showed the rest of us how to conquer the world.

I will remember the things you shared with me. You shared your love of all things girlie, nail polish, hairdos, shopping and cooking. I will never forget going to those Cooking Schools. I guess that’s why we loved to watch the Food Channel together later in life. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when you stole my marshmallow recipe and perfected it! (I still can’t get them as fluffy as you did.) You shared you home with us. You even shared your car with me. It was always a treat to get to drive your car! Most importantly, you shared your love of Christ with me. You were always a shining example, never missing a service, always singing and fervently praying. Because you shared with me, I will share abundantly with others.

Lastly, I will remember how much you loved. Your love was everything scripture commands of us. You were patient, you were kind, you were always perservering. There was never a doubt that you loved me beyond measure. And to know what it feels like to be loved like that is an amazing feeling. Your love is a precious gift that you gave that no one can ever take from me. As I remember how much I am loved, I have to let go of the grief and sadness. There won’t be room for both.

I know deep in my heart that you would never want me to be sad or constantly grieving. You would probably be stern with me and say “Aw honey, you can’t live like that.” Maybe, you’d pick at me a little bit, tell me a funny story to get me laughing and help distract me from the sadness. So I am going to remember your words or your funny stories when I start to feel sadness. I am going to replace tears of grief with tears of joy that I was fortunate to spend so much time with you. I am going to remember how I am fortunate to have had you in my life. I will remember and feel the love you had for me and pass it onto others as much as I can. I know if you were here now, you would be at my side, encouraging me and loving through the sometimes long days of the year we’ve had. If I could bottle that up and pass it around to all the world, I would not spend another minute in sadness but instead trying share to those who have not been as fortunate as I have been.

We all have grief in our lives from losing those we loved. We have mourned their loss over holidays, birthdays and other special events. Hopefully as we take time during the holidays to remember those we’ve lost, we can look upon those days we spent with a smile and love in our hearts. Hopefully, we can be warmed by sweet memories of the life they lived rather than their death. I pray that if you are grieving, you can find relief in the happy moments and that the blessings of your loved ones’ life take the place of your sadness this holiday season.

Thank you for hanging out with me here. I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year.

the whiny hiker

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