Surviving and Thriving Through the Holidays: You Are Not Alone

For grieving people, the year of “firsts” includes your holidays without your loved one by your side.  It’s different for everyone.  To celebrate by looking back is cherished by many.  Others, still too painful yet.  Those are the ones who can only look forward so they don’t get stuck. Everyone handles the holidays different who is grieving the loss of a loved one.  Special events come into play, family meals and traditions, the sounds and smells of music and cooking.  All of it.

“How do I do this?” I remember asking myself back in 2014.  I will never forget that first holiday season after my husband died.  I will never forget the second Christmas or the third.  I started looking at time differently the first year.  I regard my life as “since Jordon died” in years.  My new life started five years ago when he passed away.  I have been building my life back again since then.  We are within two more weeks of the Christmas holiday and I am feeling the waves of new and old emotions and just trying to hang on.  The second Christmas I tried to open the containers of ornaments for the tree and all our decorations.  It was a physical monumental task to do it.  I will never forget the energy that was contained in those christmas bins.  To this day I struggle to think of getting the beautiful memories out of those boxes.  Hey, to each his own.  Mine is a struggle because Christmas was so precious to me with my family.  Now I can’t look at the stuff but I know it will get better………

During the course of these last two years I have been with my new love and we have blended our family.  He is a widower so he understands me fully.  We are trying hard every day to move forward and we are doing it.  I reached as high as I could to put that prayer and wish out there.  I wanted a new life.  One of a peaceful environment. One of happiness and a new focus.  I followed the people, places, and events that lead me to where my life is today. Seeing the Living Light in 2007 is like my North Star. I always look to the visions I see and combine the people, places, and things God puts in my path and from there we have what is today.  Grief Anonymous, the Grief Resource Network, and The Jordon Barker Foundation all housed under one fantastic little iconic diner called the Launching Pad on Route 66 in Wilmington, Illinois.  We even have a 28ft. spaceman in our parking lot called The Gemini Giant.  To me, my organizations don’t belong in office buildings or a high rise in the city.  They belong on the Mother Road of our Country in the back office of our little iconic restaurant; one that sees thousands upon thousands of visitors from all over the USA and from around the world each year.  Our work is visible to all that visit our destination on Route 66. We are going to spread the news about Grief Anonymous and our Network far and wide, year after year, month after month, and day after day.  Grieving people will find the resources and help they need.

Thats my Christmas wish.