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Ice Cream and First Holidays After a Parent’s Death

A woman on Twitter last night admitted that she wasn’t fine. I went to the post she had written and remembered my own season of grief. So acute. An out-of-nowhere ache. Always one thought away from tears.

I remember.

Today, though, I’m running errands. Spending too much on groceries. Looking forward to having all four of my children home for Thanksgiving.

Healing is possible. I’ve known that for awhile. The ache isn’t always so acute.

But healing is not the same thing as forgetting. I don’t forget. I won’t ever forget. And I suspect that ache – that longing to see him again – will return a hundred fold when I am near life’s end.

It will be ten years this December since Dad passed away. Now, the thoughts are easier. Like today, when I got home from the grocery store and wished I’d bought ice cream.

Dad always wanted ice cream. Pie must be a la mode. Ice cream makes everything better.

This year, I can smile when I think of him – when I think of ice cream. I’ve been able to smile for quite awhile. But I’m not so far away from the tears; they aren’t completely packed away.

They’re still there. I’m blinking them back as I write this.

First holidays without those we love – there is no ache like it. So, say a prayer for Tara, that there will be enough grace to get through days when everyone else lists the reasons to be thankful. And you can only think of your ache.

Yes, say a prayer for Tara – and all those who are going through that first-and-hardest holiday without the parent they love so dearly.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Thank you for this, Denise. I was feeling so guilty this evening, at my church’s Thanksgiving service, listening to the pastor talk about having joy in Jesus and being grateful for waking up in the morning.

    So, say a prayer for Tara, that there will be enough grace to get through days when everyone else lists the reasons to be thankful. And you can only think of your ache.

    This is it exactly. That’s it.

    November 27, 2013

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