5 Ways I Learned to Deal With Grief During the Holidays


The end-of-year holidays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, were always the most beautiful, loving, and hopeful time of the year. Unfortunately, it’s not so much the case this year, and I’m working on enjoying the jingle bells ringing, the good times and singing, and the feeling of life all aglow.

Last year, my family spent the Thanksgiving holidays at my house, and we had a great time together like we always do. The following Tuesday, my husband took my father home. On Thursday, I sat down for dinner with my girlfriend from out of town. As I put the fork in my mouth to enjoy my first bite of food, the phone rang. It was my mother. I’ll never forget the panicked voice on the other end that cried out, “Dixie! I think something is wrong with your dad. I just came home and met him in the chair, and he’s cold.”

A feeling of nausea washed over me, and I sprang into action telling my mom to dial 911. I immediately started calling friends and family who were close by to go be with her, all while summoning up the courage not to crack into a million pieces. I somehow managed to make it through the many hazy hours following that phone call, only to realize several hours later I still had food shoved in the back of my left cheek.