remembering my dad and giving #hugsfortheholidays

A few days ago I sat down in front of my laptop with five minutes to spare, with the intention of filming one of my snarky vlogs as a response to a prompt from Mama Kat. The challenge was to push “random” on my iTunes and talk about the first song that plays. Since I have such an eclectic selection of music ranging from the LA Dream Team to Janis Joplin, from Broadway show tunes to Justin Timberlake, I anticipated it landing on an upbeat song for me to discuss in my usual wack-job way. Much to my surprise a very meaningful and poignant song that reminds me of my father surfaced and my vlog that I intended on making brief and highliarious, turned into an emotional jaunt down memory lane with my dad.

It’s amazing how quickly memories can come flooding back with just a few notes of a song. Goes to show that no matter how much time passes, those feelings of loss and mourning lay waiting to pounce with the least amount of warning.

This sappy vlog of mine is a perfect segue into something I’m working on with a fellow blogger, Jessica Watson of Four Plus an Angel. Jessica emailed me a few weeks ago about coming together to help others who might be grieving this time of year. She lost a child while in the NICU, shortly after birth a years ago, one of triplets, and has since become very well known in the blogging community for the beauty and pain she portrays in her posts about her beloved Hadley.

I loved her idea of a virtual coming together to help others who are grieving, so we joined forces, spoke with a few other bloggers who have also had their share of grief in one way or another, and came up with a social media campaign called #hugsfortheholidays. Consider it a virtual hug for those of us who, despite the holly and jolly of the season, still have heavy hearts and a painful emptiness.

#hugsfortheholidays grieving during the holidays

We want to make sure no one is grieving alone this holiday season so we invite you to share your story with us.  On Wednesday, December 19th, we will have multiple link-ups on the sites below, where you can comment and/or link up a post you have written, according to the type of loss with which you are dealing.

You can link up anything you would like to share about your lost love one: a link to a Facebook photo/post, a blog post about a particular memory, a Pinterest pin sharing how you cope, whatever you would like others to read or see. If you are not a blogger, you can write your memory in the comments of the blog.

If you have had a miscarriage, stillbirth or lost an infant link here:

If you have lost your mom link here:

Your dad link here: or

Your sibling link here:

A child link here:

A friend link here:

We have also created a special #HugsfortheHolidays Pinterest board so check it out for tips on dealing with grief and some inspiration to help ease the pain during this season. If you have a specific link you’d like shared on the board between now and December 19th please include it in the comments below.

Please remember to visit a few other blog posts on this special day to help spread the love around to others. Our goal is that no one feels like they are suffering alone this holiday season.

Sending love and light!



  1. 1
    hilljean says:

    Oh my word. Wow. Yep. I cried too. It’s a beautiful song and that was a beautiful moment. Thank you for sharing.

  2. 2
    Tamara says:

    Beautiful memories. Thanks for sharing that with us. You had me all teary too. I think the project you’re doing with the other bloggers is awesome.

  3. 3
    Jen says:

    Aw, Mary… I am tearing up over here. Music is so powerful. It makes us happy, sad, lifts us up and helps us feel closer to those who we’ve lost.

    • Mary says:

      Yes, Jen, I am always amazed at how powerful music can be and easily it can transport us back to a very specific time and place in our lives.

  4. 4

    So moving. Thank you for sharing.

  5. 5
    Jess says:

    Straight to the gut on this one. Love how raw and natural this was, love. xoxo

  6. 6
    SurferWife says:

    Ugh, Hugs, hugs and more hugs, Mary.

  7. 7
    Jamie says:

    Oh Mama Mary, such beautiful music and such beautiful memories. I so appreciate you sharing this. I just want to hug you now!

  8. 8
    Benjie says:

    Well, that was a tearjerker, very moving & earnest. Love you! Big Hugs! Miss you! XO!

    • Mary says:

      I’m sure you’ve heard me play that song before, Benj. You lived through all of that with me. Love you back! xoxo

  9. 9
    Jamie says:

    So tough! Breaks my heart to hear about someone losing someone close to them. I’m glad you have things like that song to remind you of him.

  10. 10

    Oh girl.
    I’ve so been there.
    It literally takes your breath away.
    12/22 will be two years for me.
    It sucks.
    Hugging you.

  11. 11

    Loved this and hugs to you.
    Also? I miss your face. xoxoxo

  12. 12
    Chelsea says:

    Totally crying, Mary. Big hugs and lots of love to you! Thank you for sharing this! XOXO

  13. 13

    Oh Mary. Love you. xoxo

  14. 14
    stephanie says:

    I’m sorry for the loss of your father. I lost my dad 5 and a half months ago, and although there’s not a specific song my dad enjoyed that can come on, there are a handful of songs that get me going with no warning. I understand what ur emotions completely.

    • Mary says:

      I’m so sorry for your loss. The first holiday season is always the hardest so my thoughts will be with you. Love and light!

  15. 15
    Alexandra says:

    Thank you for this catharsis, Mary.

    I followed you here from sandiegomama. Linking up for hugs for he holidays. I was 6 when my father passed, and that would has never healed over.

    I just submitted my story at DeadDadsClub.
    Thank you so much for building a community, because to not feel alone in your loss is a balm to those with such intimate loss.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much for submitting your story on DDC site. I will be posting it soon. So sorry you are in the club! xo

  16. 16
    Vanessa says:

    Wow Mary this made me cry!! I can see how much you loved your dad!!! Love your blog and videos!!

  17. 17
    Mlewis says:

    Wow… You made me cry, and I tried telling my mom about your post, and I couldn’t really get through the storyline without crying. 7 years ago we took my father into the hospital on Christmas day for him to never come home. This time of the year is horrable for my mom and I (nobody, even family, don’t get why it is still so hard for us), and I thank you for showing me that I am not a crazy, Daddie’s girl who can’t let go. I came across your blog from SDL, and I am so glad. Most of the time you have me cracking up. Thank you again.

    • Mary says:

      I am so sorry to hear of your loss! And oh man, I can’t even imagine how hard the holidays must be. I wish you love and light and strength for the next two weeks! I will be on Fox 5 news tomorrow morning in the 9:00 hour talking about grief and the holidays, so tune in if you can. xoxox

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