The Holidays Aren't Over . . . Yet

Author: Shanette Booker

Everyone assumes that for me the hardest part of the year is over- the holidays. Well not exactly. For me, the holiday season does not end after my family and I eat the Thanksgiving turkey, take down the Christmas lights, or make New Year resolutions.  My holiday season is over after all the rose petals have fallen and the boxes of chocolate hearts are empty.

Booker family

Subconsciously, many of us dread the holiday season. We are so happy when it comes and goes, but then shortly after the new year we slip into a mild depression again-feeling lost and empty. Some of us tend to know why, while others are unsure of the reason. There are angelversaries, birthdays, and anniversaries after the new year, which are obvious reasons for why our emotions kick into overdrive. However, what about those of us who don't have those occasions or events right after the holidays? What could it possibly be that has our minds focusing extra hard on departed loved ones? Why do we feel the need during this time of year to grab the Oreo Ben & Jerry's ice cream or the golf clubs, or go sailing? It's Valentine's Day. The not so obvious, yet quite obvious holiday that grabs us by our heart and keeps on tugging at those already weakened strings.

It came to me a few weeks ago after talking to a family who lost their son. They couldn't understand why every year, just a few weeks after New Year's Day, they get an overwhelming sense of depression and heartache. We discussed any possible special occasions and dates that might make this time of year so difficult for them to bear. Then it hit me as I sat there thinking to myself what normally happens right around that time frame. Dre and I would be discussing our plans for Valentine's Day together and what we would be purchasing for our mothers and our baby girl. I expressed to them the idea of Valentine's Day possibly being the reason for their feelings of heartache around this time of the year and . . . BINGO! We hit the jackpot! Their son would send cards in the mail and he would collaborate with his father to get a special gift for his mother. They both missed those moments they shared with the son. It had taken a toll on them each year. They never knew why, until we discussed that possibility.

Don't get me wrong, that may not be the only reason, as I am NOT a psychologist, but it made sense to them and for me. Sometimes we stop looking at the bigger picture and focus on the small details, but then something catches our eye; we begin looking at the bigger picture again and miss the smaller finer details that actually make the whole picture. Embrace each day and love the moments each day brings to us. Every day was a special day when they were alive, and we should continue to treat each day as such after their passing. I find that for me personally if I treat each day as a holiday, Dre will always find a way to give me a special little gift-- our song playing on the radio, a rainbow, butterflies, or even a hug from the wind. It's still a special moment and something sent from him meant especially for me.