It's been 15+ years since my daughter died. Her picture, next to the bed, gets a kiss most nights. Long periods of time will go by with no dreams of her, no mention of her name. And then suddenly there'll be a burst of Lena-energy to boost my spirit.
Over the last week, I received a surprise gift from a new friend who just learned of how much we miss Lena, a Facebook message from one of Lena's high school friends who's still coming to terms with what she meant to him and took the time to share his thoughts with me, and hanging her violin Christmas tree ornament brought a flood of Suzuki lesson tunes swirling through my head. All these things add up to a heart full of love.
What touched me the most though was the lengthy, heartfelt, and detailed message from her high school friend. There is nothing a mother loves more than hearing stories of how her child loved the world and left her mark on others. I'd never heard from him before and yet, he'd been showing up throughout his life with guidance from his memories of her and the impression she had on him.
This season, tell your stories. To the mothers, to the siblings, to the friends. There can't possibly be a reason to hold back. Any tiny tidbit can spark memories, joy, love, and laughter. If there are tears, not to worry. Those are good for the soul too.
So please, tell us your stories. It's a free act of kindness that feels priceless and so very precious.