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January 28, 2021

12/31/2020 8:06:00 AM
What I'm doing this Holiday season
It is a given, this Holiday season is simply different. Holiday celebrations are different. Holiday shopping patterns are different.
This year is a Holiday season that is also very different for me. It is the first Holiday season without a very special person in my life: my father.
Ever since losing my father this year, I have had people tell me that the first year's set of holidays after the loss of a loved one are the toughest.
My father's passing was a heartbreaking reminder of how precious life is, and how quickly it can be taken away. No one knows how much time they have, and it's important to recognize the gift of life we have when we have it.
Grief has given me not only heartache, but also the gift of memories. I know that I had many wonderful Holiday seasons with my father, and those memories I will gladly consider gifts. A gift of knowing a wonderful man that I'm proud to call my father. A gift of seeing the many handmade exchange gifts brought to Christmas Eve celebrations that showcased his talent and passion for carpentry and farming. And also a gift of seeing him smile being with the ones he loved during the Holiday season. These gifts are reminders that my dad's life mattered, and will always matter. If anyone tells me different, they will receive the gift of having a chat with me.
Moving on from that, here's what I am doing this Holiday season. I am gifting myself the permission to feel all the feelings that come up with losing a loved one. I won't know until it happens, I guess that's the beauty of being mindful. There will be times I will feel heartbreak but there may be moments that I will feel joy. I was told by some very smart people, "don't be guilty for feeling any of it." I am going to take that advice.
Christmas Eve, I will be with my immediate family and keeping Christmas simple. Christmas Day I will be spending the day watching Christmas movies, laughing, crying, and enjoying one of my dad's favorite meals: pork tenderloin.
The Holidays are a time for many traditions. If this year has taught us anything, it has perhaps taught us that traditions can always be changed. Sometimes a pandemic is a big reminder of that. Thanks COVID-19.
One more message before I sign off for Christmas 2020. To those grieving the loss of a loved one this year, especially during the Holiday season: my heart is with you. My gift to you is healing wishes as you navigate life without a loved one. May that gift offer you comfort and inner peace during the Holidays.

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