Easter is almost here, and as with any holiday after the loss of a loved one, you may have trouble coping. Author Eric Tomei from the Open To Hope Foundation offers some advice for the grieving on how to deal with this holiday, and shares some of his fond memories of his childhood Easter holidays.
One of my favorite times of the year is the Easter holiday. The weather is starting to turn nice, everybody is in a good mood, there is plenty of good food to eat and everyone is on a sugar rush from all of the candy that is consumed. I always looked forward to Easter as a kid because of the simple fact of dying those Easter eggs, a tradition that many kids look forward to each year.
My Mom absolutely used to hate dying Easter eggs with us. She didn’t like anything about it, but thankfully my Dad did. He would get the 8-10 Solo cups out for us and we would put the colored pellet in the mixture of hot water and vinegar and presto we have instant color! He would cut out the egg cartons in threes so we each had a special place to put our own eggs that we dyed. My sisters and I would vote on who we would make eggs for by writing with this special “white” crayon that would magically show up on the egg after you dyed it. My Dad used to get really grumpy when we decided to mix colors, but that had more to do to with his structured personality than letting us have fun. I think if it was up to my sisters and I, well maybe just me, I would have just had a bunch of multicolored eggs and mixed everything together.
It was one of the few times during the year that we all got to bond with my Dad separately and every year he was up to the task. Quite frankly he probably could have cared less about dying Easter eggs, but we did it almost until we were in high school. I haven’t dyed an Easter egg in a long time, but I still miss that memory of us dying eggs together. So whenever you’re celebrating the Easter holiday with your loved one there are a few things to remember:
1. Appreciate this time-You never really know how long you are going to have this time with your loved one so appreciate the good time you are having. You will look back at the fond memories and wish they could continue year after year. I know I do. At the time I didn’t realize how special that time was.
2. Be thankful someone is sacrificing for you- My Dad did this every year for us. My Mom didn’t like to do it although she would have done it if no one else had. My point is that Dad was ready for action even though we never truly found out if he enjoyed dying Easter eggs or not. As a parent you are constantly doing things for your kids that you don’t necessarily want to do. I suspect this was the case for my Dad with dying Easter eggs.
3. Remember these special times when it’s your turn- My Dad set a great example for us to enjoy things as they happen, especially when it came to dying Easter eggs. The bigger message is enjoy everything in the moment because that is all you have. I can’t wait to dye Easter eggs with my kids someday, because I have such a good memory of the experience with my Dad. If you do not have that memory with your Dad or loved one, create it. It will hopefully fill a void that you did not experience.
To everyone this holiday season, have fun and remember all of those who could not be with us physically but are alive in our hearts forever.
Always a friend to listen,
Eric Tomei-author I Miss My Dad