Surviving the Holidays without Your Loved One

Hello Fierce Butterfly!

Ever since my 19 year old son passed away on October 31, 2011, life has not been the same. Every year, Trevin found a way to make sure he presented me with a Christmas gift. Rather it was a hand-made Christmas card or a card bought from a store, he took pride in presenting it with love. Even though I know it’s not going to happen, I still look for that card or gift.

I woke up this morning thinking about a group of parents I’ve become a part of called the Miami Dade Parents of Murdered Kids and knowing that some of them are spending their very first Christmas without their loved one. As I reflect on my first Christmas without Trevin, I’m reminded of the dark cloud that hovered over me and the heaviness of my heart which felt as if it was breaking into pieces inside of me – I cried every hour of that day. The overwhelming thoughts of wanting to hear his voice and to hold him in my arms crippled me to the point where I didn’t want to get out of bed. The anger I felt towards those who took the life of someone so dear to me taunted my very being. Depression held me so tight that I couldn’t appreciate those who thought enough to call, text, or to stop by to let me know they were thinking about me. I covered myself so tightly under my covers to the point where it was hard for me to move around in the bed. Here I am four years later – although the sadness of missing him is still there, I am able to cope a lot better with missing him. missing

I would like to share a few tips with you on how I went from crying uncontrollably to coping with the holidays without him.

Allow yourself to miss your loved one – You have experienced a great loss in your life and to have someone who has been a part of your life and is no longer there leaves a huge gap. You have every right to experience every emotion that’s associated with a loss. Cry, be sad, be angry, be depressed, and feel lonely… You have a right to miss your loved one.

Don’t stay stuck in the rut – Would your loved one want you to give up on life? I think not. Allow the memory of your loved one to be your biggest cheerleader! Hear them cheering you on and encouraging you to remember and embrace the times you have shared together. Hear them cheering you to run on and to live a happy life. Hear them giving you permission to smile again.

Embrace the ones that are still here with you – Don’t overlook your loved ones that are still here. You want to show them that they too are just as precious in your life and you are glad to have them around.

Remember, healing takes time and cannot be rushed, so give yourself time to heal and embrace the memories.

Blessings to you during this holiday season!


PS – Hey, check your local listings and tune in on New Year’s Day to watch the 127th Rose Parade where my son, Trevin, along with other organ donor honorees will be honored on the Donate Life Float. Meet all of this year’s Donate Life Rose Parade Float Floragraph honorees at

Sponsored by Life Alliance Organ Recovery Agency