“We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.”- Dorothy Day
It takes a village, y'all. No joke.
We survived the holiday season with the help of many, many angels near and far. None of them had to be called and told. None of them even asked if it is was alright to swoop in. None of them doubted for a minute that their actions were the right ones. They just delivered. Silently. Swiftly. Subtly. And some how or another, all of these angels had perfect spacing in their deliveries. Just about the time when we could not take another minute, a little bit of love landed in our laps.
I dedicate this post to each one of these special angels.
The month kicked off with this very special ornamet :)
Love love love that ornament/year-round light catcher!
The next angel delivery is something else.
My childhood friend (and friend for life), quietly gave me a little box at my mother's 60th birthday party. She did not want me to open it right then and there. She said to open it later. So, later that night when I was alone, I opened it. I totally understood why she did not want me to open it when I was entertaining a flock of women. Here it is....
Those are our Jackson's sweet feet on a beautiful silver ornament with his date of birth. WOW! We just love this ornament! What a perfect way to make sure that Jackson is always a part of the Christmas season, and always remembered by our family every year. I could not think of a more perfect way to honor and love him. I knew that I wanted an ornament for him, and this friend knew exactly what to do. She knows me too well, and she is grieving right along side me. I can see our children hanging this on the tree every year, while sending the sweetest and purest love to their angel brother who is there in spirit. Always.
After we hung the ornament on the top and center of our tree, I looked at it for a moment and found this...
Perfection. Love. And a side of Hope.
A few days later, another delivery came in our mailbox. It had perfect timing, I might add.
This one came from a family of angels, who I have known almost my entire life. Our families have grown up together and been through so many things together. The head mama in the family (dear friend of my mother's) sent this on behalf of the entire crew.....
Oh, but the village is not done taking care of us. No way.
Remember our angel L&D nurse? Well, she sent us a care package that is true to her personality and style.
Anytime someone starts a note with "My Dear's"....You know this person is heaven sent. I opened her card and could her hear talking to me. I could feel the way she stroked my head and how she looked at me with her head almost resting on her shoulder with giant tears in her eyes. I read her note and could hear her talking to me. It was so powerful. She has grieved and continues to grieve right along with us. She marks time the same way I do. She might even be keeping track of weeks better than I am, at this point. She lost something too that day.
She sent us this....
I like it when people get it.
She found this laying in the L&D waiting room. Someone had left it behind. She read it, and knew we needed it. She was right. I like that she added "JUST" in there. Another true to form move from our angel nurse. Yes, not all holidays are JUST happy.
The part about "grief rituals" was the most helpful and comforting. There is tremendous value in creating grief rituals to help us remember our loved ones in loving, healing ways and with a sense of peace. Many times when loss occurs, we feel like we must hold onto pain (forever) in order to remember what is lost. When what should happen is the creation of a ritual(s), albeit individually or with family, that will have the most meaning and healing significance. These loving activities help us remember our loved ones, and give us a sense of connectedness, healing and peace. Ultimately, these grief rituals should help release pain and unpleasant feelings, thus freeing up space for us to make our memories a positive influence in our lives.
The hanging of these ornaments yearly is a grief ritual.
The footprints we wear is a grief ritual.
The photographing of the sun is a grief ritual.
memory jar is a grief ritual.
Our love for the color aqua is a grief ritual.
Grief rituals are perfectly normal. They should be embraced and welcomed, not stifled and shoved to a place where you cannot find them. Rituals empower people emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Those who create rituals through traditions, and their own will to invent a new ritual that provides meaning to them, have the opportunity to extend their loved ones presence beyond death.
And you know what?
The village around you may just have grief rituals of their own that they want to share with you because your loss is their loss too. No one is alone.
More village love...
Thank you to all the angels. Thank you so much.
Thank you for these wonderful and meaningful gifts.
Thank you to everyone who called, e-mailed, texted or just squeezed my hand and asked me how we were doing.
Thank you for praying for us, especially during this holiday season. I selfishly ask for more prayers, because Winter time is just depressing.
It takes a village, folks. It just does. We are so thankful for a strong and powerful village. We love all of you, very much.
Here we are saying good bye (and good riddance) to 2012, and HELLO LUCKY 2013!!
If you are on Instagram, you can find me @emilydeloach. I am having fun with that app now! It is my kind of program, as y'all know I love to take pictures and edit them! You can find us documenting our life adventures there too!
Have a great week!
Emily and Russ