Grieving for My Mother This Thanksgiving

This will be the first Thanksgiving without my mother. She died at 95 years, a few days after Christmas when she saw her great granddaughter for the first time. She had waited.

Throughout these months, it has been too easy to forget that she is gone.

I have often been riding in my car thinking of something funny that I have to tell her, only to remember with some tears that I’m not going to tell her anymore.

Sometimes, I might remember something I could have changed or some way that she struggled. The sadness washes over me. It passes…

Sometimes I ask her if she can believe what is going on. Sometimes I ask for her help.

When I can, I remind myself that I am not going to forget the stories she told, the songs she loved or how much I loved making her laugh.

This Thanksgiving, in my heart and mind and despite my missing her, she will be there. As a person who loved to cook and loved watching family and friends eat even more than cooking, she will be remembered in the stories told and in the family rituals carried on by friends, children and grandchildren.

At some point when I am reminding my children of something they already know, they will tell me,” You are turning into Nauna.” At other times I will hear myself speaking and think the same thing.

But isn’t that the way it goes? Isn’t that the way we carry those we love?

Grieving is never easy but it can be a process of reconnection even during the Holidays.

This Thanksgiving, hold on to those you love who surround you and carry those you love who you have lost—They will be an enduring presence in your life.

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