Losing a Loved One Close to the Holidays

Losing a Loved One Close to the Holidays

"The air feels colder going into your lungs and the sun doesn't shine as bright as it used to."
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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.


Cover Image Credit: Three Spires

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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads

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I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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I Thought I Was Invincible But Then I Tore My ACL

i had to fall to get back up again

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Track has been my favorite hobby since I was in elementary school. Nothing could compare to the wind rustling through my hair as I ran, the sun shining down on me, the feeling of complete bliss and accomplishment as I crossed the finish line. Every spring, I lay in wait for the elementary track meet where I would prove I was the fastest girl in my grade (there was only two of us, so winning didn't really prove anything). Every race was a chance for me to do better–to become better.

High school rolled around and I was still as committed to track as I was when I was eight. The season was going well and I was on my way to do big things. The only thing on my mind was state; I didn't even think about the possibility of injury. The sprint relay came along, and like always, I passed all the competition with alarming speed and grace. My pride swelled with each distant cheer from my teammates and friends. It was just about time to hand off to my second leg when things went horribly wrong. I ran up on my teammate which caused me to step out of my lane. Panicking, I pulled my leg back into my lane and stopped. I heard a loud POP! and I went down in searing pain. My coach and other teammates ran up to me after the race was finished to help me off the track.

My coach couldn't determine what was wrong with me, so I hobbled over to our setup to rest until my next event. I ran the 800 relay with none of my former grace and ease, but I finished and help qualify my team for the area. That's when my life turned upside down. I went from being a regional qualifier to not being able to run in a matter of minutes, and I didn't know how to contain myself. This sparked months of rage and despair which made it hard for others to be around me.

Eventually, I started to realize that my sports career wasn't the only trait I possessed that made me unique. There were so many extracurriculars I was able to invest my time in when I wasn't able to do sports. It took some time, but I realized that my identity doesn't come from the organizations I'm a part of, but the type of person I am. Through my recovery time, I was able to get to know myself and rediscover some old hobbies, like reading. I was also equipped with the knowledge that good things don't come effortlessly. Instead, I have to fight for the things I desire.

The most important lesson I learned from tearing my ACL was this: I am capable of so much more than I ever imagined. My determination to overcome this set back showed me a type of resilience and persistence I never knew I possessed. I am strong, not because of my physical abilities, rather, my mental capabilities. These are the few lessons I hold in my heart as I finish up this year's track season. Events didn't play out the way I imagined but I'm thankful for every opportunity I've had to do what I love.

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