Touched by loss. Empowered through community.

Pull Out the Holly

Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Posted By: 
Becky Lichucki

“Pull out the Holly, put up the tree before my spirit falls again now…for we need a little Christmas, right this very minute, candles in the window carols at the spinet….” (Mame-Jerry Herman)

That about summed up the start of December in my house. I was feeling the urge to bake and decorate and put up the manger and all the things that I used to do before Robert died. I used to do up the holidays—taking days off work to decorate and bake and listen to music.

Once he died, it was not the same. I wanted it to be, but there were so many reminders that it was just too hard. I wanted to make happy childhood memories for Munchkin, so I did all those things that everyone tells us to:

-give yourself permission to skip things

-take time for yourself

-find a way to remember your loved one

Yep, I did all of that and more, but this year, this year was different. I had the bug and we went to decorate. In years past, I had boxed up special ornaments from our marriage—they were too much to look at, touching them was a physical reminder that I could no longer touch Robert. I have spent six years building an ornament collection for Munchkin and I. Unfortunately being the wonderfully practical person that I am, I put them in a box marked Christmas and they got brought up with the rest of the decorations. As I fluffed the tree, Munchkin got busy pulling out ornaments and of course went right for the big box of memories. He started asking me where these ornaments that he has never seen before came from. Robert and I had bought ornaments each year starting when we were dating and each had something to do with what had happened that year. Many were musically themed others were animals, or from a vacation.

As Munchkin picked up each one, my breath caught in my chest. I shared the memories for the ornaments that he asked—the claddaugh from our wedding year, the Disney one from our honeymoon, the Puppy on ice from going ice skating in Houston. One by one, he asked and I shared. I was remembering the happy memories of our too short time together. I could see the wonderment in his face at hearing about his daddy and I realized that as much as I needed to bury some of my memories, he needed me to share them with him. So for the past month, my tiny little tree has been adorned with memories of Christmas past, and instead of tearing up and sobbing, I just have a dull ache. There have been times when I sit down at night and I swear I could almost *feel* Robert’s hand on mine. I don’t miss him any less, but I am thankful to be able to share memories with Munchkin.


Beautifully written! Bravo to you.

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