Can you pass the grief?


Along with the turkey and dressing passed along at my Thanksgiving table next Thursday, I expect a big heap of grief  on my plate. A helping I plan to scoop right off and pretend it never graced my presence in the first place.

It’s hard for me to fathom the fact that Thanksgiving is next week. I usually embrace this time of year with open arms. I love the aromas escaping from my kitchen, and I always enjoyed the treats  scattered on my counter top. Some of those treats made especially just for me.

Recently, I read Rick Bragg’s Thanksgiving article in Southern Living magazine. His article was all about his mother’s turkey and mocking those perfect looking turkeys everyone sees on the front of magazines and on TV. Most importantly, his article was primarily about his mother and how she made their meal.  That is when it hit me. Thanksgiving will never be the same ever again.

They say the first year is the hardest. Whoever they even is. I am not sure how I feel about the holidays to be honest. I can’t exactly skip Thanksgiving and skipping Christmas is sacrilegious. Or at least it would be for me.

I dread November 24, and if I see that blasted commercial about sitting at the “big table” this year, I might just punch the TV.  I know when I wake up that morning from beneath all my blankets in my bed at home, my favorite southern cook won’t be scuffing around the kitchen in the grandmother sweatshirt I gave her 12 years ago with ragged jeans she took out of the closet just for this occasion.

I sat here wondering recently who was going to make all the things my grandmother made. Given in these past few years my dad put on his apron to help, but he’s not done the important stuff like the dressing, the macaroni and pecan pies.

However, despite the fact that it sounds like I am just missing my grandmother since she was the great food provider, that is not the case. Who is going to sit beside me and hold my hand as we pray and tell God what we are thankful for this year?

I share these feelings through writing. I don’t think I really can any other way. I am emotionally dumb, and someone the other day nicknamed a robot. Perhaps you think that is malice, callous, and all the words that have similar ending sound. I know I am not the only going to be facing losing someone this holiday season.

It’s hard for me to keep it in perspective. It’s hard for me to even write this because that means I have to remember and not just ignore it as I do every day.

Grief is the trickiest emotion of all to deal with, or so I have discovered. It can strike at any time and anywhere. I know it’s about to strike as I approach the great day of thanks next week.

Perhaps, among all the food on my plate and as I reflect on what God gave me, I should keep in mind this one important thought. God didn’t have to give me my grandmother for all 18 years of my life. Not everyone is blessed with having their grandmother living with them. Yes, I said blessed even though some days she drove me straight up the wall.

God blessed me with the incredible, hardworking, Christian woman I knew as my grandmother. She had her flaws and faults. She annoyed me, and some days all we did was argue. Despite all the negative, I know for a fact she loved me more than life itself.

That  in itself is a gift. The most precious gift I am thankful for this holiday season.


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