It was all about the Barbie bathtub.
I can remember it like it was yesterday– the moment when my younger sister Denise and I found the Barbie bathtub that I was going to get for Christmas. It was in a cedar closet my dad had built in the basement. I don’t think we were necessarily snooping around for gifts but we found them. And my Barbie family would also be getting a new nightstand. What a year for them!
This remains one of my favorite Christmas memories with my sister. Until she died, most of my Christmas memories involved her. During one of her last holiday seasons with us, she gave me a set of two glasses with Christmas trees from Marshall Fields. I remember looking at her funny and she said, “For when you have someone in your life.”
These are the moments we should remember. For many, this holiday season is filled with devastating pain, especially because the grief is new. Somewhere beneath those layers that topped the pain are the memories though. Dig deep and find them. Our loved ones want us to be happy.
Michelle Linn-Gust, Ph.D., President of the American Association of Suicidology, has spent the past nineteen years educating people worldwide about coping with loss and change following the suicide of her younger sister. Her eighth book, Conversations with the Water: A Memoir of Cultivating Hope, chronicles her grief journey as she moves forward beyond the suicide and loss field. Her first book, based on Denise’s suicide, Do They Have Bad Days in Heaven? Surviving the Suicide Loss of a Si..., inspired siblings around the world in their survival after a loved one’s suicide. Learn more about Michelle at www.inspirebymichelle.com.
Image: Flickr Creative Commons / Elena Lagaria