Recounting the last days with my father. How do you reconcile the holidays when it's also the anniversary of a passing?
Thank you for sharing this very vulnerable side of you and allowing us to sit with you in this space. What a gift to everyone ❤️ these are the kind of conversations that heal us.
Thank you for sharing. I lost my mom unexpectedly from illness just a few months ago and I definitely wasn't prepared for all the twists and turns, and the mix of all the emotions afterwards. I still have difficulty processing it, but I think reading about other people's experiences somehow helps.
Jenna - really appreciate your vulnerability here and sharing your very personal experience. My wife and I lost several family members during COVID as well although not during the holidays. My own experience with death during a holiday was when my grandfather passed away on January 4th, the day after my birthday. He and I were very close and it has made the New Year/Birthday celebrations a little more challenging. He died in 2014. I am not sure we ever get over it but rather we eventually come to terms with it and incorporate that experience into our broader life experience. Thanks again for sharing.
Sending love and hugs, Jenna. Sitting in the in-between with you. ❤️
thank you for sharing your story. your words are stronger and clearer than mine but wanted to let you know that your writing always makes me think and reflect. as a first gen Korean American with a complicated relationship to my own parents, I definitely see parts of my own story in yours and have empathy for you and your dad. I hope you continue to write. p.s. don't know if this will make you feel better but I'm 99% sure your persimmon thieves were of the four-legged variety. well known in rural areas that raccoons are so very efficient in finding ripe fruit on trees and will come in their family packs at night to harvest every single fruit on that tree unless you have electric fencing. since the fruit was on the tree longer since your dad wasn't there to harvest, I think the raccoons finally found it that year.
I appreciate you writing and sharing such personal moments. My husband has lost his twin brother, and his father. And, strangely, in the same fashion with his brother (when they were 19), and his father who lost his life to cancer, which ate away at his body and mind, a few years ago in early December. I see in my husband what you talk about, these complex thoughts and emotions, often dichotomous, especially around this time of year. It's hard to fathom how one processes all the things that were left unsaid, not done. Sending light your way. Take care.
Thank you for sharing this, Jenna; it was difficult to read so I can only imagine how difficult it was to write. I, too, have mixed feelings about this time of year due to a lost parent, though almost two decades ago now and not during a pandemic. I feel like it is always an effort to be "jolly" for my kids and family, although ultimately, they are also the reason I want to try. Sending love and understanding across the Atlantic ❤
So much here to digest in stillness—thank you for sharing it all! That lone persimmon in the tall tree—what an imprinting image of the simultaneous love and loss. Holding space for you.
The holidays are mixed for me also. Sometimes I try and power through only to collapse over an ornament or cookies gone wrong. I love that you have examined these feelings and how hard they are, but also the blessings now that you can see them. Big hugs from here!
Beautiful. I feel more grounded, more human, after reading this. Sending love
Like always, your writing leaves us with so so many thoughts and feelings. With our parents getting older, it's so hard especially when the relationship is complicated. Alzheimers and dementia are so brutal and hard. My sister's mil is the quietest and gentlest of women. She was a scientist studying the effects of traumatic brain injury. Tragically and ironically she developed early onset, rapid alzheimers in her 60's and absolutely had to know what was happening. She was just expelled from the latest facility for trying to stab someone with a fork, an act that is so unlike her. These diseases are so scary and dehumanizing.
I am in awe of your love and strength for being able to write about so much pain and heartache with so much clarity. And to be able to process it in this way. I can’t even imagine how difficult this must be yet you held me with every word as if saying “it’s ok. It will be ok.”. None of this is fair and I feel for you and your mom especially.
Oh, Jenna. Much warmth to you and your Mom. I echo what Janice said so tenderly.
Love you, friend ♥️ The holidays are definitely a mixed bag. What did your dad usually make with his persimmons?
Thank you for sharing. It's never easy and how everything happens so fast is just beyond recovery. I wish I can cook you turkey soup or something to make the holidays warmer. ** hugs*** from The Bronx.
I'm impressed by the persimmon tree, my mom had one but it was really hard to maintain. She has figs and dates now. If your neighbors or someone took them - I wonder if they thought they were doing your family a favor by not letting them fall and rot on the ground (?)
Feeling this too. You’re so right. Stress definitely can “manifest itself in physically detrimental ways.” Tomorrow is the anniversary of my dad’s death. It’s been 15 years, but I still feel it in my body. It happened on the night of the first snow of the season. For me, snow can bring on melancholy.
I think so many have trauma from the pandemic that hasn’t even begun to be processed. Sharing stories like this can help. And so can normalizing that “it’s okay that the holidays are hard.” Thank you Jenna.