I will live each day to the fullest knowing that tomorrow is promised to no one. I will take no one for granted. I will honor my son by continuing family traditions and remember the love we shared will transcend through the holidays and comfort me the rest of my life. I love you mom, I love you Matt. These last words said are etched forever in my heart.
I wish my son had been there to see me cry and to witness the grief of his friend and his friend's cousins. It would have been awkward for him, but that is the point. Death is part of life and I don't believe in sheltering kids from it. It is not the sort of topic one brings up in the playground, but my sense is many parents wouldn't see this as a missed opportunity.
The Christmas after my father passed away was just as heartbreaking as Thanksgiving. Mama tried to make up for his absence by buying me two "big gifts" instead of only one. There was still a void, but we managed to celebrate and tis the season to be merry. His absence was always painful, but it became normal.
There are those who scold us for our outpouring of grief in the wake of the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks on Paris. They try to make us feel guilty for not demonstrating the same grief over the slaughter in Beirut, Lebanon, just a day earlier, or the massacre in Kenya. Political correctness has no place in matters of the heart.