While I navigated most holidays throughout the year; the very first Christmas after my daughter Zoi’s suicide was unchartered territory. But, Christmas is the most powerful and emotional holiday to get through, at least for me. Early in December, I had no desire to decorate the house, what’s worse, the holiday commercials were upsetting and I had no desire to get gifts for anyone, especially since I wasn’t going to be buying anything for my daughter any longer. In my mind, it would have been best if I could skip this Christmas altogether.

Two weeks before Christmas and fighting back tears, something drove me to dust off the Christmas decorations and as I opened each box, it felt as though my girls were placing each handmade ornament into my hand. Suddenly, it began to feel like the Christmas spirit was emerging and it became even stronger as I continued to decorate the tree. I put on some Christmas music and found myself singing along. When I was done, I stood for a moment just to take it all in; my heart felt warm, it was like Zoi was right there with me.

The morning of Christmas arrived. Yes, I cried because I was missing my daughter, but I also knew that the day was going to be okay. I went over to my sister’s house, passed out gifts to family members, checked in on my other daughter, and Zoi’s friends and somehow found the strength to enjoy the moment.

I chose to make this day the best Christmas possible – to create new memories, to give to others what I wanted to receive the most – love.


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