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Here's what someone told me about grief

I know the holidays can be tough sometimes.

As adults, we've all unfortunately lost someone close to us (or has a friend who has). And I know, myself included, that during the holidays it's always tough when we think back on family traditions and memories, but don't have our loved ones here with us to create new ones with them. It's bittersweet, but we barrel ahead.

I'm not trying to get too sappy or seek sympathy, but after I lost my yiayia I haven't fully felt the same since. I mean that in a way where she knew me like nobody else…we always just clicked. Funny enough (am I able to say funny when talking about death?) her wake was on my 28th birthday and now, it's not just my day but ours.

Christmas has always been my favorite. We grew up having big holiday parties with family traveling from 10+ hours away to celebrate. However, my grandmother spent her last 6 years of her life in a nursing home, with what escalated to Stage 7 Alzheimer's (the last stage). Our new tradition, her and I, was Christmas morning spent in a recreation room full of strangers who also had forms of dementia. In some weird way, that was our most special time together. It was never always about the big party or a stack of presents.

For anyone who's lost someone, I wanted to share something that a friend sent me a few years ago – The Grief Box. It's the most accurate way that I've seen someone define it because people think that there's an expiration date. That one day, you'll just move on. And if you don't you're harping on it. It's not about moving though, it's about moving forward.

So when you first lose someone, visualize a box, with a button inside of it and a huge ball that touches every edge, pressing the button no matter where it moves. The button symbolizes your grief :(

Over time, the ball gets smaller and smaller where it can move around the box without hitting the button. But every so often, that ball will hit that button – it always will.

And that's how I'd like to think about grief, because it's so unexpected when it will hit you. The most mundane thing in your day will randomly shake your core and transport you back to a memory.

I'd like to think we're the lucky ones though, because we had people in our lives that are so hard to miss.

I hope you have a great holiday with family, friends, cats, dogs and loved ones. Celebrate the ones that aren't with us anymore by carrying on traditions you had with them, maybe by making their favorite dish. My yiayia always made the best spanakopita.

Be good,


PS. This newsletter was originally sent out last year and it remains one of my top performing stories. If you enjoy this newsletter, forward it to a friend.

© 2023 by Jimmy Rox

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