17 Oct Turkey, Warm Weather & The State Police
Turkey, Warm Weather & The State Police. What a welcome change! Instead of the normal cold and rainy and sometimes snowy Michigan weather that we tend to experience on Thanksgiving Day—the weather on this particular Thanksgiving Day (1998) was sunny and warm and beautiful. I know that I am not the only holiday host, mom or grandma who appreciates warm weather on a holiday. It makes the day more pleasant, and the memory sweeter, when the children in your tribe can run around outside of the house instead of inside the house. What we didn’t know on this picture perfect day is that this Thanksgiving Day would be our last Thanksgiving Day with my first husband, Donald.
Not one to waste good weather, Donald opened up the gun safe, took out the shotguns, and directed everyone who was left inside the house to go outside. It was time for a Skeet Shoot! At this time there were forty acres of open land to the west of our house. My mom and I stayed in the house to clean up the kitchen. We listened as peace and quiet instantly turned into shotguns going off and a lot of whooping and hollering—a lot of noise.
About the time that we had the kitchen back in order it became noticeable quiet. Within seconds of my mother and me mirroring each other with the original mom, hum… What is going on? Raised eyebrow look… My son Andy, came banging through the back door yelling, “The state police are outside talking to daddy.” I instantly visualized Donald being arrested and a picture of our family appearing on the front page of the local newspaper…
The problem, however, was not us. (Oh my, Big smile while typing that last sentence.) The problem was the new neighbors to the north of us who were transplanted city people. People who were not yet educated in ways of country living. The vibrating and echoing noise from the shotguns going off was bouncing off the back of their house and scared the heebie-jeebies out of them. They thought that someone was shooting up the back of their house. Of course, they did what everyone does when they think that someone is shooting up their house. They called the state police and immediately took cover in their basement. While they were hiding out in their basement their entire Thanksgiving Day dinner over cooked… and they have refused to talk to my family ever since this incident.
My family, on the other hand, remembers this Thanksgiving Day as the most exciting and best Thanksgiving Day ever! This story will be passed down from generation to generation…
The Holidays Can Be Difficult
The following year Donald was dead and Thanksgiving was awful because none of us knew what to do or what to expect. And we were in shock and numb from head to toe because he died a few weeks before Thanksgiving. You may be in the same predicament. I have to admit it took a few years before we got our balance back again on the holidays… And some years we still have to work on it!
The great news is that you don’t have to figure out the holidays by yourself. There are steps that you can take to navigate these days in a healthy and healing way. The even better news is that the holidays can be good again—just in a new and different way. Cathy and I share this in our book, Grieving Forward: Death Happened, Now What?
However, Tom Lampert and I will be sharing what you need to know—so that you don’t have to figure out and learn things the hard way like we did…
A Grieving Forward Tuition Free educational Workshop at:
Chilson Hills Church in Howell, MI
Understanding Holiday Change You Didn’t Ask For After The Death Of A Loved One.
Saturday, October 17, 2015 November 7, 2015 from 9 AM – 11 AM.
See my Upcoming Events Page on my website for details. www.lindapouliot.org
When you understand what’s normal for grief, especially on holidays, it’s easier to navigate your personal healing journey. And it doesn’t matter if the death was recent or years ago…