A close family friend presented my mom with a crystal vase for her 50th birthday, which was not too long before she died. Her 50th birthday was a miracle: she was terminally ill and had not expected to make it to the age of 34.  Since my mom passed, our little makeshift family keeps her vase on a table in the dining area, and it’s filled with things like eggs or ornaments or pine cones to celebrate each of the major holidays. The vase is never really a centerpiece but, because it’s nearby for our most cherished dinners, it feels like my mom is there with us. The grief is still there but so is a sense of comfort, because we include her.

If you have lost a loved one, you know that holidays can be reminders of the voids we feel, the silence we hear, the hands we can’t hold. Read 5 Tips for Facing Grief During the Holidays, and remember what the author, Kristen Lamb, says:

 …you are NOT alone. There is an empty seat at my table too.


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