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Darcie Sims tells why Christmas for her is “the hardest holiday”. Darcie is part of Compassionate Friends, a support group network of bereaved parents. Her son died and for her and her daughter Christmas Past means bittersweet memories. Darcie writes, “All those traditions that mean so much now lie broken and empty in my heart.” One Christmas she and her daughter just didn’t want to deal with the holiday any longer, so they dragged their tree out into a snow drift. It was then that they hit rock bottom. They wondered, “Have we lost love as well?” They decided to keep Christmas anyway, and went back out for their tree. It looked forlorn, a frozen stick of a tree waiting for the trashmen, but they returned it to their home. “With a mixture of tears and snowflakes”, Darcie writes, “we began to let the hurt out and make room for the healing to begin…we learned that love isn’t something you toss out, bury, pack away, or forget. Love isn’t something that ends with death.” Darcie saved a twig from that frozen tree to remind her of what she almost lost. That was the year she chose to let Christmas come back (from Bereavement Magazine).

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