Grief and the Holidays

Grief and the Holidays November 27, 2023

Christmas shopping at Kohl’s was always a special tradition tied to the memories of my dad. Walking through those aisles with him, choosing gifts for everyone, was a ritual we cherished. Dad and I would make our way to the pajama section, hunting for those perfect pajamas for everyone for Christmas Eve, ensuring they were cozy beyond measure. His meticulousness extended to the candle aisle, where he’d gently inspect each one, sniffing, handing it to me, and then selecting just the right scent for each person.

It was a tradition for him to take my husband back to Kohl’s on a day I was working, conspiring like it was their little secret. He had this knack for trying to surprise me on Christmas morning with a gift that he carefully picked out, but there were moments, moments when I felt the weight of his unspoken sorrow—those times when his heart wasn’t fully in the holiday cheer. I understood, though. His quiet grief for my mom often cast a shadow over these festive moments.

Then, in a seemingly ordinary visit to Kohl’s today, the echoes of those memories hit me unexpectedly. There he was—an elderly man, not my dad, yet strikingly similar in appearance. His flannel shirt and Detroit Tigers ball cap seemed almost like a mimicry of my father’s style. He was in the women’s section, carefully selecting pajamas. I couldn’t help but smile, imagining how fortunate the recipients of those gifts would be.

However, it was when I encountered him again by the candles that the floodgates of emotion opened. He wasn’t Dad, but the resemblance, the actions—each candle sniffed and placed into his cart—resurrected all the grief I’d tucked away. The heartache I thought I’d come to terms with rushed back, catching me off guard, reminding me of the silent pain my father carried within him.

Grief has this uncanny ability to linger in the most unexpected moments, in the ordinary occurrences that suddenly turn profound. Today at Kohl’s wasn’t just about last-minute shopping; it was a collision of nostalgia, loss, and a flood of emotions that caught me unprepared. It’s a reminder that grief isn’t linear; it ebbs and flows, weaving its way into the fabric of our lives when we least expect it.


Kristy Robinett (Michigan) is a revolutionary psychic medium and astrologer. In addition to giving readings and teaching workshops, she uses her psychic skills to assist with police investigations. Kristy lectures across the country and is a frequent media commentator, appearing on the ID Channel’s Restless SoulsFox NewsABC NewsCoast to Coast, and more. Kristy Robinett is also the author of several books, including Born Under a Good SignIt’s a Wonderful Afterlife, and Embrace Your Empathy. Visit her online at

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