If you have grandparents, or elderly parents, give them a hug and tell them how much you appreciate and love them. Unless of course you don’t love or appreciate them for some really good reason.
So far, since this weekend, two of my friends/coworkers have had grandparents die. First they fell down and broke a hip. Then they were dead within 48 hours. Both were quite old and had been in assisted living, and one had Alzheimer’s. But they went from being alive to not alive quickly.
It is particularly hard to deal with this kind of loss around Christmas. It isn’t the same if it happens around the 4th of July. Something about Christmas, the family togetherness, the memories that we have formed over the years, both good and bad, makes this a poignant time of year to begin with. Add in the loss of a family member, no matter how old and infirm they were to begin with, and it is a recipe for increased sadness.
For my one friend this means rather than having to travel down to Long Island for the weekend, her entire family is descending upon her here. This is where her grandfather lived, and was in a home. Up until last night she was not worrying about cleaning her house or vacuuming up dog hair, but rather was just packing a bag and throwing out the perishables from the fridge. Now she has to think about dog hair AND grocery shopping. Maybe I will make a lasagna for her to have to feed people. Something like that. Or offer to vacuum and dehair the house. Merry Christmas, here is a lasagna and a free pass to no dog hair. Hey, put that in MY stocking while you are at it.
So gather your loved ones close, even if they annoy the hell out of you and cannot go for five minutes without making a comment that makes you want to scream and stomp on things. Hug them and appreciate them for all the good things they are. Maybe they are funny, and eventually say something that makes you laugh. Or they bake great cookies and always share. Or they are there for you in your time of need no matter how many times you need them. Most people are good people on some level, and we are blessed for having known them. Tell them you love them and give thanks. You just never know when they won’t be there anymore.