Today would normally be soapbox day so here is some different food for holiday thought. The holidays are a time when we particularly miss people. People from whom we are geographically separated. People from whom we are emotionally estranged. Particularly people who have died and who we miss.
This holiday season remember and share stories of those you have loved and lost. Keep their memories alive by your sharing. By sharing the stories, the memories, the pieces we hold onto, we keep their light burning. It may seem as "holiday" as ringing holiday bells or caroling voices, but this is a time to share, to remember, to celebrate and embrace the memories. The warmth and light will warm our hearts just as surely as the people we miss did.
A year ago I learned of the death of a very special former student, Taylor Emmons. I broke my habit and wrote a personal post about Taylor. I did it because I was moved to by the flood of emotions and loss. To my amazement it remains one of the most frequently visited blog posts of the almost 600 posts since I began. It consistently is in the top 10. I just saw that they have established a scholarship fund in Taylor's name at a school he attended in Florida after leaving Maine. I wish there were some way Taylor's family could know how all those people who have read that post were also moved by hearing about Taylor's life, or more accurately by the way he lived his life.
Reach out to those you may know who have experienced loss. Listen to their sharing, their stories. Stories of holidays together, of ordinary times together. Families and friends often gather during the holiday season. Maybe take some time this holiday season to share the stories of those you have loved and miss, of those who your loved ones still miss. Take time from the holiday bustle to pause, to remember, to share.
I am a lifelong educator, writer and author, a foster, bio, and adoptive parent, happy mom of five daughters, Grandma to six, Nana to four, and church and theater musician. Oh yes, and all-round optimistic, crazy lady.