December is approaching… a month that should be established as the most nostalgic of the entire calendar.
Loaded with great celebrations, banquets and musicals; for many it hides in itself the greatest sadness due to the empty chairs that will remain at the table.
Thinking of a hug, laughter or memory are the most melancholic memories at dinner time that fall on the mind and heart. Between Christmas and mourning.
As if it were today I remember my grandfather Rafelito crying in a Christmas heartbroken for his mother, remembering her warm embrace years before she died. I definitely didn’t get it, she was too young to do it.
Until in December 2016 history repeated itself, this time not because of the memory of my great-grandmother but because of the death of Gladis, my maternal grandmother. There are no words to describe how and how much everything changed from there, but she did.
My mother hasn’t been the same since then, neither have my uncles. No matter how many Christmases go by, it is always different when there are plenty of spaces at the table.
The anecdotes, dances or songs will never be complete without that grandfather, father, brother, mother or uncle who left. And this, along with the melancholy and sadness that the festivities bring, are part of the grieving process that each individual struggles with.
This story is not only mine, it belongs to thousands of Dominicans and people in the world who carry within the pain for their loved ones who are no longer around for this time.
Grief is a complex and unique process that each person deals with in a different way based on many factors. And everyone needs different things to treat their pain.
“I don’t feel well. I try to think of everything but that; but you can’t, nothing is the same, nothing fills it, ”said José Antonio Almanzar, who lost his mother and agreed to tell me his story.
At times, Antonio Almanzar stopped his story due to the feeling of sadness and inconsolation that invaded him when he thought of his mother, and all the valuable things that her absence means to him.
Another testimony is that of Ashley Herasmes, who together with her family saw one of her patriarchs leave. And despite understanding that life is about that, no one prepares you for the same, even when you know that it is inevitable that it will happen.
Herasmes and his family feel that everything is changing every year, but together they have been able to give space to the mourning that brings frustration, sadness and pain; always looking for the necessary help to remember from love.
Despite the fact that the first Christmas, after the loss, places us in front of a reality of absence; it is vital to feel it, cry and suffer, to give way to another phase of mourning that allows us to incorporate new customs, without forgetting those we love. After all, “there are things that are never forgotten”, and the loss of a loved one is one of them.
Therefore, in the midst of this time, live your duel.