You made it. One week left.
Whether you struggled through every moment, or you found moments of peace stitched into your days, you made it.
Most of this holiday season is now behind us.
That was the way we preferred them when Matt was alive, as well. He was a builder, so official holidays were the only mostly guaranteed time he wouldn’t be at work.
During holidays, we got to be alone, together.
As always, and still, I choose to opt-out of these holidays. They hold no special meaning to me, other than that the one I was alone-with is no longer here.
My holidays now are spent knowing how many, many people are missing, and how much pain is present in these days. Quiet, rooted to home, alone – these still seem the most appropriate choices for my ‘holidays.’
For your Friday post, a glimpse into one of my first Christmas non-events, early in my grief. There are gifts, but not the ones the outside world might expect.
Writing without the deeply personal is not the whole story of grief. To give the whole story, to give as many handholds as possible in the steep climb of grief, we need to hear personal stories. Each Friday, I’ll post something from my own experience of grief and love. It’s an inside look at love, at grief, at life.
This week, a post from 2010:
It’s not a christmas post; I don’t have one. Except I milked the cows and did chores so the farm owners could have an uninterrupted christmas morning with their kids.
I brought over appetizers and fancy cakes to ronald mcdonald house so the families staying there would have something nice. Christmas at the ICU just sucks, whether you acknowledge the holiday or not.
And I read this, just now, which made me cry (surprise surprise).
I know it is a different thing to lose a child than to lose your love, but I often find the words on Glow in the Woods suit me well:
…what she gave me was infinite. The understanding of unconditional love, of absence, of suffering, of impermanence, of fear. (Fuck, I was afraid after she died. I was afraid of being alone and being with others.) She gave me an understanding of without. She gave me the whole of the abyss. …I gave her some kisses, tears. I gave her an urn. A place on the shelf in the secretary. It sits in front of all my books about God. Those things seem the least I could do, the very least. …
I love those lines above: she gave me the whole of the abyss. She gave me absence, suffering, love.
You gave me these things. You still give me these things.
And you gave me other things too, intangibles. Beautifuls and miserables; things I don’t even know.
Last night – and I claim it as a gift – I was sacked out on the couch watching some foreign-movie-via-netflix, and just as the subtitles flashed “you have my heart,” the screen froze.
The screen froze leaving those words hanging there: You have my heart.
The re-loading arrows blinked, but nothing changed. For maybe the first time that whole day, I laughed.
Hello my love. And you have my heart too.
Goodnight everybody. Peaceful christmas-hanukkah-kwanzaa-solstice to you. It is almost behind us.