From the outside, I’d say it looks like we are doing well. The kids are happy and busy. They are fully immersed in swim and school and extracurriculars and friends. I am working and socializing and appear to have my act together. The cheery facade hides the truth beneath. This Christmas season is rough. Every where I turn, there is a reminder of holidays past. In each quiet moment there is a memory that weighs heavy in my heart.
A wise person advised that the first year after you lose a loved one you think about the person they had become and then after that time you are able to focus on the person they actually were. I look forward to that. When I am alone, snapshots of assorted times pop into my head – the raw grief of my children at the candlelight vigil, Dave apologizing for leaving me behind, Dave telling me he was scared. The memories break my heart. And I can’t help but think about how hard we worked to keep him around as long as possible. And I still can’t wrap my mind around him being gone.
When you have spent nearly every day of your adult life with the same person, almost everything is a trigger. Music is especially powerful since it served as the background to our lives together. But it is also Christmas shows and silly phrases and the glimpse of someone who bears a resemblance. It’s favorite meals and old movies and board games. It is his place at the table or knowing what he would say. It is knowing how proud he would be of our kids and wishing he was here to share in all the blessings we have in our lives.
I appreciate people reaching out and supporting us with their kind words and love. I appreciate you trying to make us feel better. But sometimes I think you just have to let all the emotions simmer – even the tough ones. To honor. To remember. To grieve. To heal.