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Go Ask Mom

Amanda Lamb: Grief isn't for sissies

Posted November 25, 2012

I think it would be unfair of me to write such a Bah Humbug blog last week about the upcoming holidays without letting you know how Thanksgiving went.

This year, instead of our usual trek to my husband’s stepmother’s house Down East, we spent the holiday with my mother’s family outside Charlotte. They had graciously invited us soon after my mother’s death.

In attendance were my cousins, their children and spouses, and uncle. I knew in advance that this decision would make for a more emotional holiday, but I felt like it was important to connect with people who would connect me as closely as possible to my mother.

My cousin and her husband prepared a lovely meal in a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere. We were joined by her son, her brother, his wife, their children and my uncle. We visited, we laughed, told stories, and while I was reminded of my mother at almost every turn, I was somehow able to smile through the tears as memories of past holidays with her came flooding back.

I know intellectually that this is just the first of many holidays in the future that I will spend without my mother. The good news is that I survived this first one without melting into an emotional wreck.

Those of you who have been through it will know what I mean when I say grief isn’t for sissies, and I’m no sissy.

Amanda Lamb is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including three on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.
 

13 Comments

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  • kj90 Nov 27, 1:34 p.m.

    I hope the grief you feel will subside as you continue to grow. Keep the faith, because it is all we have in the world we live in. I cannot remember a time when I had Thanksgiving with my immediate family. As a former foster child, I am fighting statistics while learning what love actually mean and feels like.

  • dhilliard4 Nov 26, 4:51 p.m.

    I lost both my parents within 6 months of each other. The hard part for me is my birthday. My parents always called me the morning of my birthday and sang me "Happy Birthday". I cry now as I type this, no more do I hear their happy sappy singing.

  • annetterice Nov 26, 2:39 p.m.

    I ARGEE, IT ISNT FOR SISSIES,, BUT CAN SAY AFTER 4YRS OF HOLIDAYS WITHOUT MY MOTHER , I STIL AT TIMES GET EMOTINAL OVER NOT HAVING HER HERE AT HOLIDAYS , BUT I AM ABLE TO LAUGH NOW WITHOUT THE TEARS,, AND PUT A SMILE ON MY FACE FOR ALL THE MEMORIES SHE GAVE ME AND MY SISTER

  • Objective Scientist Nov 26, 12:12 p.m.

    Generally I would not be reading a blog titled "Go Ask Mom" - primarily b/c I am a "Dad" and my kids are grown adults. But I have seen Amanda reporting on TV, saw that she had lost her Mother and began to read her blogs about that "experience" - because much of what she described resonated with me. My Dad passed in 1994 and my Mom in 2001... some years ago now, but I recall working my way through the same steps as Amanda - albeit from a "male perspective". Interestingly that perspective may not be very different than the female perspective. My experience is that the "grief" part lessens, but will never go away completely. At certain "moments" on any day of the year I still feel a "void" - that something extremely significant that was once in my life in a truly tangible way is no longer there. However, that void is truly inescapable during holidays and at other significant dates for the family... and I know that will never lessen.

  • pbowers103 Nov 26, 11:19 a.m.

    I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who wants to skip the holidays this year. My brother died in a car accident on November 5, 2012. He'd been living in Texas for the past 6 1/2 years and had just started a new job in Tarboro, NC in September. We were so excited about having him back in NC and being able to spend more time with him. He was less than a year younger than me, and his death has turned my world upside down. I have survived the death of both my parents - and as hard as that was, nothing prepared me for the grief and loss I feel now. I don't have children at home anymore so I don't have to go through the motions of pretending to be excited about Christmas. I do have a very strong faith in Christ and I believe that I'll see my loved ones again. This year, I am simply going to try and remember the true meaning of Christmas and hope that the days, weeks, and months ahead will start to heal my heart and replace my grief with warm memories. You are absolutely right

  • beadingbuddy Nov 26, 9:52 a.m.

    Please know there are many who wish you well this holiday season. Please know of a GriefShare program called Surviving the Holidays, one of which is being held Saturday, December 8 at Westwood Baptist Church in Cary. This program is designed to provide support to all who have lost someone to death and the Surviving the Holidays is especially designed to support you during the holidays with your loss. Please know you and everyone who would like to attend is welcome.

  • caniac315 Nov 26, 9:33 a.m.

    When I see you on TV now I think of your mother and wonder how you are doing. I hope you realize you are in lots of people's thoughts and prayers.

  • mensrae3 Nov 26, 8:10 a.m.

    Amanda,
    My condolences on the loss of your mother. I understand exactly what you went through. This is the 2nd Christmas without my mother... and it can be very painful. I have such great memories of my mom at Christmas. Even though it can be such a joyous time, it can be difficult when you have lost a loved one. I try to remember all the good times, and I feel sometimes my mother is watching over me. A big hug for you at this emotional time. Sometimes, we just need a big hug.
    Suzanne -

  • marandablomqvist Nov 26, 6:59 a.m.

    I lost my mother 5years ago and I think of her every day. She especially loved working in the yard and gardening. There are days that I cannot think about her or talk aabout her without crying. I miss her so much!! But it does get easier and most of my thoughts are happy ones and not sad ones.

  • itsyoureternalsoul Nov 25, 11:31 p.m.

    Take it from Grief expert Granger Westberg: "God has so made us that we can somehow bear pain and sorrow and even tragedy". I sense that even if you had been an "emotional wreck", it would have been OK surrounded by loving family.

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