Tis’ The Season
As people get ready for the holiday’s, many people do not feel the holiday season bring them peace or joy. As my granddaughter, Cora reminded me, the holiday season for her and her brother is a source of pain, as her father died by suicide in 2017. This is a poem that my granddaughter wrote this year right before Thanksgiving. It is with Cora’s permission that I share her thoughts and her poem. Cora’s hope is that if someone is feeling hopeless or helpless, that they know that suicide is not an option. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.
Cheers to the turkey’s, pumpkin and pine trees. Cheers to the laughter, thankfulness and family time.
That is your typical holiday season. But what about my holiday season? Mine is cheers to the grief, sadness and wishing you were here. Cheers to tears, traditions without you and the empty chair in the dining room. No more presents that say, “From, Dad.” No more being thankful for dad being at the Thanksgiving table. No more matching Halloween costumes with dad. It’s now going to the same tree farm every year like we used to do just so that it feels normal. It’s now making your favorite thing at Thanksgiving even though you can’t eat it anymore. It’s now dressing up as your favorite character, just so I can remember you. Remember life before the pain, life before you left. Holiday season isn’t about living in the present anymore. I live in the past now just so you can live on. The traditions we still do, don’t make you come back. So, I make myself feel like you’re back by doing what we always used to do. It’s a different type of pain. We used to decorate the house for each season, and now I have to decorate your grave for each holiday. That is my holiday season, the season I wish I could close my eyes and skip right over it. I wish I didn’t have to come every year. Because it is just more of a reminder that you are gone and never coming back no matter how many times I pray and beg, you are gone forever.
I will be smiling in family photo’s but in the back of my mind, I will be replaying in my head how you are not here, and not doing the traditions that we use to do together, but now I do it alone. This is the holiday season now. It’s not turkeys, pumpkins, and pine trees. It’s grief, sadness and wishing you were here.
By: Cora Marie
Being the grandmother of two grandchildren who lost a father to suicide, witnessing their pain is a pain that I cannot put into words. Truly, when someone dies by suicide, the pain for those who love them, death is only the beginning of the pain that will last all the days of their life. The intention for this blog, is for people to know that they are not alone in their grief if you are missing a loved one this holiday season.
Please, tell people if you are struggling. Additionally, if you are a person thinking of suicide as an option, please, please reach out for help, suicide is not the answer.
Bernadette Gaumer, LCSW