A New Year’s Resolution for Grievers

Holidays and Special Days / Holidays and Special Days : Eleanor Haley



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I resolve to take you with me into the new year and then every day after that.

I’ll hold onto memories of you, each a separate thread connected to our life together. I’ll jumble them up into a ball, so I’m not constantly getting tangled in the past. But I’ll make sure I can still pull out a single string whenever I want to remember.

I resolve to talk to other people about you. I’ll tell someone who never knew you about the type of person you were. I’ll ask those who knew you to share their stories with me.

I’ll sing the songs you used to sing. I’ll watch the movies you loved. I’ll say the phrases you used to say, and after I’ll tell someone standing nearby, “my mom always used to say that.”

I’ll imagine what you’d be like if you were still alive today. What would you say to me if we could talk about kids, relationships, religion, and politics? I’ll wonder if I would agree with your opinion, but when it comes time to make an important decision, I’ll always take the advice I imagine you’d give.

I will play both parts of our relationship because you cannot speak for yourself, and I’ll accept this one-sided, unrequited love because it’s all there is. I will be happy with what I have left of you but feel sad for what I’ve lost. And this grief loop will play on repeat forever, and I will be okay with that.

I resolve to do these things this year, just as I’ve done every year since you died. And I won’t apologize or feel foolish for doing any of it because there is no right or wrong way to love someone who’s died.

And I love you still.



We’re wishing all our readers a safe and peaceful New Years.

Let’s be grief friends.

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14 Comments on "A New Year’s Resolution for Grievers"

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  1. Connie  May 15, 2022 at 6:49 am Reply

    I have a new daughter-in-law to be who lost her 18 year old son 2 years ago. He committed suicide. I never knew him. I’m not sure how to go about discussing him with her. Or should I wait to see if she brings up the subject of him first. My thought is that if I bring him up it would be to get to know him and let her know that I’m alright with her talking about him. She has a daughter who I haven’t met yet. They live out of state.

  2. Sharon Hanlon  April 29, 2022 at 6:04 am Reply

    I’m glad I found your site, I always read your articles. I lost my son at the age of 35 suddenly in 2021. I used your tips many times thru that first year. Thank you for all the tips you share.

  3. Crystal R  January 20, 2022 at 10:15 pm Reply

    Thank you for this message. My 16 year old transitioned 2 years ago 3 days after my wedding and birthday. #foreversweet16

  4. Judy Leede  January 13, 2022 at 8:16 pm Reply

    I lost my husband of 49 years on May 17th 2021 to brain cancer. The hole in my heart is so big as is the pain. I was surrounded by family over the holidays and felt blessed to have them with me. I take comfort from this reading as I cope with moving forward. I try and keep very active as it helps me process his loss. Memories feed my soul, sometimes I smile, sometimes I cry. Moving forward one step at a time.
    Thank you for posting this amazing read.

  5. Barbara  January 12, 2022 at 11:25 pm Reply

    I lost my 29yearold son on Dec. 2. I miss him so much and don’t know how to get through the rest of my life without ever seeing him again. It hurts so much!

  6. Elizabeth Bortman  January 6, 2022 at 10:57 am Reply

    Reading your story today was just the right thing to set me onto a very good path. Many thanks

  7. Montague Tubb  January 4, 2022 at 2:07 pm Reply

    This is my first step in understanding my grief

  8. Nancy  January 3, 2022 at 3:07 am Reply

    This holiday season took me by surprise. I don’t know why and I should have known better. Mom passed away last April. Lots going on with the sale of my own home of 30 years in May, then the sale of our childhood home in August.

    I had a surprising dream in early November that woke me up in tears. In my dream, I was looking for Mom’s three gold Christmas reindeer that were always displayed on her mantle. I was angry at myself that I sold them at the estate sale. Big regret. They just didn’t seem that important in July. Besides, I thought I was making all good decisions trying to part with many sentimental items from my own home, then hers. Well, that particular decision and dream haunted me for weeks. I even brought it up again to my sister on Christmas Day. Tears were flowing.

    The day after Christmas, out of the blue, a family friend sent a Christmas greeting text to me and my sister and included pictures of decorations she purchased from our estate sale. The three gold reindeer were front and center among many other Christmas decorations from Mom’s house. I couldn’t believe my eyes! I then knew I’d have to be happy with the fact that they were loved by someone who held my Mom so dear.

    Without telling me, my sister reached out to our friend and told her of my tearful dream. Before she was even done with the story, our friend said, “The reindeer belong to Nancy.” My sister drove 200 miles to collect them and deliver them to my mantle. They look beautiful -as if they belonged there all along.

    Amazing how a dream about something I really wasn’t aware I loved so much came back to me. Our friend said, “Your Mom had me hold on to them until you were ready to have them.” Tears and joy. And beautiful sentimental Christmas memories for years to come.

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  9. Paula  January 1, 2022 at 10:40 pm Reply

    I loss my husband on Jan 21, 2021. We have spent 33 NYE together and this NYE I cried quietly. I cannot find the words to express my sadness and how much I miss him. To start a new year without him, his love and support is very painful. Thank you for these comforting words…

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  10. Dawn Best  December 31, 2021 at 10:45 pm Reply

    I am “moving through the Grief Storm, like the Buffalo, who knows it is better to “ weather the Storm” versus run from it! Thanks to our Indigenous ancestors for teaching us how to grieve, in a spiritual and effective way, as we journey with our grief. I am moving into my 2nd year of my grief journey, and this Christmas has been particularly difficult! I miss my husband, Doug, so very much!! Some days I’m not sure how I can carry on without him. Thanks for listening / reading my post!

    Dawn

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  11. Jocelyn  December 31, 2021 at 6:45 pm Reply

    So very beautiful and meaningful for me. Thank you.

  12. Mirba  December 31, 2021 at 5:52 pm Reply

    I lost my mother on December 28,2020 because of COVID. We laid her to rest on December 31st. I just received this by email as I stumbled on this site by chance, looking for answers. The grief is so profound and I found myself being very angry leading up to her anniversary of her passing. Yesterday the 30th was my birthday. I wasn’t sure how to navigate because my mood has been up and down. It was nice to spend the day with my family and I felt my mother’s presence. Reading this post today on the 31st is just what I needed . This is exactly how I want to keep my mother’s memory with me in my heart. Thank you!

  13. Lorraine  December 31, 2021 at 4:37 pm Reply

    Your resolutions piece made me feel understood– It was, as we writers say,
    a gem. I , for one, feel hugged.

    Thankyou. And I wish you the year we all deserve, knowing that we are all apart of something.

  14. Bryony  December 31, 2021 at 1:06 pm Reply

    Thank you for these grievers’ New Years resolutions. They’re so spot on and I feel less alone.

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