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Grief at the holidays, cliche? And just another pouring out of thoughts.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Here I am, over a year and a half after the death of my brother Steven and I am at Christmas season #2 without him. If I recall correctly, last year it was still so fresh (9 months of him gone) that nothing about the holidays, in specific, really set me off. This year seems different.

The stocking. There is just something about 'his' stocking. We all grew up with our own special stockings, we never bought new stockings, or switched stockings, or any of that. We always were so happy and proud to hang up our own stockings. Yes, I am 29 years old, but every year it's a "ritual" for us. And we still hang up Steven's stocking, but where everyone else's stocking will be filled on Christmas morning, his won't be. I am tempted to put something in there, but what? Obviously there is nothing in this material world that he wants. I am sure he just wants us to be at peace with his passing and enjoy our lives. I would just give anything to give him something, anything, that he wants.

Maybe I have said this before, but I had an idea that I have tried to do for holidays and his birthday and such. And please know, I am not trying to toot my own horn here, this is just an idea I want to share because maybe it will feel like a good idea for someone on one of my grief or suicide teams that I am on. I am trying to give a donation to a charity (the charity I give to varies, but for the most part something humanitarian), in about the amount that I would have spent for him for a gift. So here comes Christmas and I think it is going to be Boys Town. I have also given to the National Foundation for Suicide Prevention ( I think that is the name) since I would give anything to have him back.

My parents have given some of his memorial funds to some pet or animal rescue charity since he had a rescue min pin, Rascal, who has been a joy in our lives. They also used a little bit of the money to fix Rascal's leg again since it had more problems and my brother couldn't afford to fix it. I am not sure what they did with the rest of it. I think there is still some left. My mom had mentioned some idea to me a few months ago and I can't remember what it was, but she mentioned it and I thought, "ugh, not a good idea." But I know we all have our own ideas of what a good use of memorial money should be used for. I just wish they would do something with it because it doesn't do anyone any good just sitting there. Feed some hungry people, clothe some cold people, whatever!

Ok, I have to get up and do something. Put away clean laundry and turn the heat up, it's cold in here. Please keep my family in your prayers.

Love you always Steven.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    emoticon I feel the same way about Christmas ornaments as you do about stockings. I think your idea to donate is a great one.
    3881 days ago
    Dear sweet Laurel, you are in my heart and prayers. I can't imagine the pain you and your family faces. Stay strong, and never feel like your feelings are cliche!!!!!!!!!!!!!! emoticon
    3882 days ago
    Giving in your brother's memory to a place that he would support is a great idea!

    I just passed the anniversary of my mother's death last week. Some years it is a positive chance to remember her, and some years it is just a painful day where I am overcome by the lack of her presence in my life. Know that it is okay to grieve and be sad. Maybe doing something for someone else on the anniversary of his death, or his birthday can help you. Think "I am doing this in the name of Steve, or in the memory of Steven".
    3882 days ago
    If you dig back in my blogs from last December, I blogged about handling Christmas after the death of my son. I really do know what you are going through. I especially think of him this time of year because he was such an incredibly generous person. Always broke, but he'd take HIS Christmas gift money and buy for others who had no Christmas gift money. Pick out those favorite memories and cherish them. Your idea of donating to a charity in your brother's honor is perfect. Thanks for sharing with us. We are here for each other - whether celebrating or quietly reflecting on our sadness. I'll keep you in my thoughts & prayers.
    3882 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/6/2010 11:22:20 PM
  • LAUREL220
    I love that idea about writing him letters! I am sure it will help to "verbalize" some of my inner thoughts.
    3882 days ago
  • LINDA!
    Oh, I am so sorry for what you and your family are going through...I will keep you all in my prayers.

    What a nice picture! emoticon
    3882 days ago
    P.S. Really is a great picture... I just love his smile!
    3882 days ago
    Hey Laurel!

    That is a really touching thought process, to donate in his memory!

    This came to mind while reading your blog...

    What if you started a new tradition of writing him a little hand written note each year, your family too if they want... saying the things you/they wish, or meant to say, but never did? Or simply some memories that you cherish and wish to put into words. And then you could put it in his stocking... it would eventually fill up nice and full and give you a reason to smile when you think of his name and all the memories you shared together.

    It could be a huge process of healing and acceptance, along with forgiveness for you... and memories written stay with you for years to come.

    Just a thought.

    My prayers are with you, always!

    Hugz and Luv!
    3882 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/6/2010 9:09:45 PM
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