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Blog Post #21: ​While Addressing Envelopes...

Grief | Loss | Bereavement | Love | Remembrance | Prayer | Eternal Life​

Thursday, December 19, 2019 by Carol Kurivial

I noticed something interesting about myself this week as I sat writing addresses onto envelopes and listening to my Jim Brinkman Christmas CD. I’ve actually been noticing it for several years, but for some reason, this year when I pulled the first card of a deceased relative or friend from my address basket, I was more affected than usual. Tell me I’m not the only one who finds it difficult to discard the address cards of family and friends who have passed on to eternal life.

My file is getting thick and it really needs to be cleaned out, but I just can’t seem to do it, even though I’ve vowed that 2020 is going to be the year of ridding. Wouldn’t old address cards be a good place to start? The truth is, these loved ones are gone and they’re not coming back. Their address means nothing. They don’t live there any more. In fact, these outdated addresses now house a complete stranger. Why would I want to hang on to a card that is no longer relevant?

Sure, I’ll state the obvious. Because I WANT to keep remembering and if it takes an old address card to do that, oh well. I WANT to think about our relationship. I WANT to take myself back to my life before they were gone from me, and I WANT to pray for them and think about their new reality that will, soon enough, be my reality. But most of all, I realized as I sat contemplating, I WANT to keep their file because they’re not dead to me! Heck, they’re more alive than they’ve ever been! And I still love them. I even talk to them! It’s one way I deal with my grief. And it’s a great way to continue my relationship with them ~ especially at Christmas.

One of the cards I always pull out and gaze at is my Grandma Jones who lived to be 102 1/2. Where to begin with those memories! So much love. And then there’s my Aunt Edna and Uncle Bill....both gone...both beloved...both holding a special place in my heart.

Sometimes it’s just one person in the family who has passed, like my sister, Mary. She went to be with Jesus on January 28 of 2014, and of course I would keep her file because her husband and boys are still here, but what about her name? Do I erase it?

Are you kidding me? No discernment necessary on that decision as there is no way I’m going to erase her name from that card. NO WAY!!!

I WANT to remember, and I do. Every time I get into a laughing jag and just can’t seem to get myself under control, I think of my sister, Mary. And every time I go to the fair and see an elephant ear stand, I think of my lake friend, Sam. Every time I notice that I’m twirling my thumbs, I think of my Grandma Jones because she used to do that too. Every time I see an old Kraft cheese box, I think of my father-in-law because he used to keep nails and screws and random parts and pieces in them. And every time I see a Christmas cut-out cookie, I think of my Aunt Edna because she made the best cut-out cookies...EVER!

Yep, I’ve made up my mind. I’m not pulling their card from my file. Not this year anyway. Because, like I’ve already said, I WANT to remember. And I WANT to wait with joyful expectation for the reunion. It’s the third week of why wouldn’t I be thinking about joyful expectation!

I WILL be ridding out in 2020, and if you see me, please hold me accountable to my resolution. Rule of thumb will be: Love it! Use it! Or lose it! And lots will hopefully be going out the door. But one thing I’ll be hanging onto is those old address files. They pass the test, after all: I “love” these people! I “use” the reminder of their precious life to keep me focused on what really matters. And I don’t ever want to “lose” my memory of them.

Yep, my mind’s made up! The files stay! I can now continue with my little project of addressing Christmas envelopes while listening to my Jim Brinkman Christmas CD and remembering those I have loved and will always love. I can be patient (another Advent theme) as I wait for the reunion with joyful expectation!

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