Nothing is ever the same, losing a loved one. The air feels colder going into your lungs and the sun doesn't shine as bright as it used to. The snow falls slower, calming the world to a constant moment of silence for your loss. It's almost as if you are in a snow globe; everything around you is constantly moving while you are stuck in position.

The holidays aren't as magical as they were. It's almost as if they shouldn't happen at all if they aren't there to bring that joy. The other members of the family put on a brave face and still try to continue the traditions that your loved ones set, but everyone knows that they will never be the same.

I lost my aunt on December 6th, the woman who basically was my mother. Even though we all knew it was coming, it was still so sudden. A part of me knows that continuing celebrating with my family and just being there as the rock is what she would want, but I just can't.

I will never wake up to the smell of ham cooking in the kitchen at 8:00 a.m. again. I will never hear her yell my name to get her the pot or pan that she needed, and pulling down every single one until she decided that none of them would work anyways and to try the other cabinet. No more homemade "nuts and bolts", as she liked to call her trail mix. It was always our favorite holiday treat that we made together while talking about how my little brother needs to clean his room.

Her smile was one that could light up any room and make the saddest person happy. I can still hear her laugh at me for not knowing the difference between a tablespoon and a teaspoon. There will be no more decorations like her decorations. No more new handmade scarves or ornaments that we were all so proud of.

The one person that kept my family together, the glue, was gone and we are all feeling the emptiness.

Aunt Linda, you were always the best part of me. The woman I wanted to grow up to be. I feel you with me everyday and know I'm doing the best to make you proud. I know I should be strong and not cry but I'm hurting. You were one of the only reasons I came home for the holidays. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Easter, and every other holiday will never be the same without your bright and kind spirit to keep us all happy.

If I could ask any favor of my readers; tell your family you love them. I don't care what the circumstance is hug them, kiss their cheeks, and let them know you care about them. In the blink of an eye, a phone call, an instant they could be gone and you'd never get that chance. Spend your holidays spreading love and cheer with them and cherish every moment.