Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Sunday

November 10, 2013

Fred Goldenberg: Healing the heart this holiday season

TRAVERSE CITY — I think the first time it really hit me was in June on my birthday.

My Mom was notorious for remembering your birthday the day after the actual date. She’d call me the next day and say when she finally remembered “it was too late to call” and she was sorry. I’d laugh and say it was no big deal and it was nice to still be getting calls twenty four hours later.

Only this year, there was no call, and I missed it a lot.

I don’t want to get maudlin here and make you think that her death has debilitated me and made me incapable of functioning. Far from it, but what it has done is made me acutely aware of what it is to grieve and miss someone you loved. There is a hole in my life that was filled by my mother and can never be replaced. I was the youngest and she delighted in telling people I was her baby —even on my 60th birthday.

This will be my first holiday season without mom. My wife won’t be coming home from shopping and show me the great slippers or socks without seams that would be perfect for a person suffering from neuropathy. No family dinner where we get on Skype to talk to all those unable to be at the table in person. The circle of life continues but those linked together change and I now find myself as the patriarch of our immediate family.

I don’t like it, but I know there’s nothing I can do about it either. I also know that there are many of you reading this that are feeling the same way. Your heart may be heavy due to the loss of a parent or grandparent, a spouse, a child or a favorite aunt or dearest friend. It really doesn’t matter who —- the effect on you is hard and in some case devastating.

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