Celebrating and Thankful
“Celebrating” a day meant to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom used to feel strange to me. I could never grasp how a party or a backyard barbecue could honor someone’s LIFE. I never understood... at least, not until my husband passed away. When you lose someone you love, at first there won’t be any celebrating. Mourning is a hidden gift that marks a relationship with significance. It challenges you to define what was and what always will be. And, for Big Loss, that grief, that mourning never actually fully goes away in this lifetime, but we learn to move forward (not on) carrying it with us. Temporarily, we suffer a great deal. This can last for months or years or decades or lifetimes. But, there’s HOPE for many of us. An end in sight, restoration & reunions just “around the corner.” The best thing loved ones can do for those grieving during the in between? REMEMBER those we have lost. SAY their names. LAUGH about the silly things they did. Bring them up. No, you won’t cause us further grief. Believe me, we’ve never stopped thinking about our loved ones, you aren’t reminding us. In fact, when you bring our loved ones up, when you happily participate in conversations about them instead of clamming up, you provide an incredible respite for weary hearts. Knowing another person *remembers* is like a cold drink of water on a hot summers day, mighty refreshing & sometimes feels NECESSARY for survival. I’m not the widow of a military member, but I can tell you from *my* experience, with my losses... on any day designed to help us remember, there’s nothing better than talking with those I love about the people I’ve loved and lost. Cheersing with a drink or two, paper plates & potato salad with friends & family, kids running through the sprinklers... all of that just sounds like icing on the cake.
And, yes, there should be cake. Yesterday we said thank you to all of our veterans & their families & sending out extra prayers for those who have lost. I can tell you right now, not a day goes by that I’m not eternally grateful for the freedoms we have in this country & incredibly grateful to those who have fought for it. #MadeforBrave