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An Empty Seat At The Table

The holidays are meant to be a time for celebration. 

College students taking a break after finals, parents enjoying a full home again, professionals sharing their accomplishments, and siblings back to fighting over the best spot on the couch.

But for some people, the holidays aren’t all things merry and bright. Although they may be surrounded by family and friends, all they can see is an empty seat at the table.

If you’ve lost someone in your family, especially if you’ve lost them recently, the holidays can be an incredibly painful reminder of the people who are no longer here to celebrate with you. 

Sometimes, it may even feel like a betrayal to celebrate such a special time of year when there are people who are missing. But this year, let’s change our perspective.

You can live through something that rocks your  world off its axis. You can survive losing a piece of your heart without losing  who you are. More than merely surviving the loss, you can thrive.

You can do it because it’s what you deserve. More importantly, you can survive the loss because living is the greatest honor you can give to the person you lost…

– Rachel Hollis, girl wash your face

You deserve to enjoy the holidays. You also deserve to miss someone who is no longer here. I believe not allowing ourselves to acknowledge we miss them only hurts us even more.

You are allowed to enjoy this time of year despite the heaviness in your heart and an empty seat at the table. 

Your heart is allowed to be full from hosting Thanksgiving at your house this year, but simultaneously long for the days your own mother prepared the meal before she died. You are allowed to go in the backyard and throw the football with your kids, but still miss playing with your own brother every Thanksgiving Day.

You are allowed to watch the Macy’s Day Parade with a mimosa in hand, stuff your face with pie, go shopping with your family, and laugh until hot chocolate comes out of your nose. Give yourself permission to do these things.

We only get so many holiday seasons with our loved ones in this lifetime. This year let an empty seat at the table be a reminder that above all else, we should cherish them while they are still with us.

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