A few years ago, I lost someone very near and close to my heart: my grandfather. My grandfather was one of the most admirable human beings I had come to know, the person who taught me life lessons and how to love. Though I was devastated beyond belief, I had to accept what was happening before me. My grandfather would no longer be with us. My aunts and uncle would also have to face that reality. They had spent many more holidays with him than I had, but it still left me empty.

With Christmas just a day away, the idea keeps running through my head;  Grandpa Fred won’t be sitting on the couch yelling at us to quiet down, to tell us stories about when he was younger, and we won’t be able to watch him laugh. Without a doubt there will always be a void, because that jolly old man wouldn’t be joining us for one more holiday. While this was in 2008, it still breaks my heart to know he is no longer with us. I see many of my family and close friends lose people who were close to them and will now have to face the same pain that I feel every year.

You often hear others say that with time it’ll get easier. Though that statement cannot be more true, it still does not seem like an easy idea to grasp. It took me a while to wrap my finger around the idea that it will get easier, and I can honestly sit here and say that it does. Though it still hurts, you learn to be more accepting of the fact.

There are some things that I’ve learned in the past couple years to help me cope with my loss.

Remember the good times

Though there won’t be any new memories to create, there are always those days with the ones you love that you’ll never forget. Reflect and reminisce on the person they were during those times.

They wouldn’t want you to be sad

Though the tears may come, remind yourself that they wouldn’t want you to mourn their loss. They would want you to enjoy the time you have with your family.

These two simple ideas have helped me the past couple years and I hope they help others as well.

No matter what you’re going through this holiday season, we hope you have a lovely time with your family and friends. Merry Christmas Eve!

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