How do you enjoy the holidays without one of your children? I'm struggling with that…
I struggle with what to say or what not to say during the holidays. Life goes on, but then again it doesn't. So, it leaves me speechless. I don't write anymore, which is why I'm writing this Thanksgiving night. It is the therapy I need but don't have time for with a full-time job. We've cooked our turkey, played Jenga and Sorry at the dinner table. Laughs all around. The kids are sitting on the bed beside me while I type until we all watch Home Alone as a family later tonight.
I am trying to put into words that which resists words. I continue to remain in touch with a friend who lost her daughter in the Sandy Hook shootings. My texts started with a simple "Happy Thanksgiving," and upon response evolved into a "the holidays are lonely." And, they are. We live on foreign ground out here in Colorado and family is far away and unable to travel. The "me" I envisioned at 21 was one sitting at a full dinner table for Thanksgiving....extended family and kids running about. Wine and laughter. It is different now. There is just the insular "us." It is still lonely. There is no Ben. There are no friends that we enjoyed several years ago sitting around our dinner table.
I've had a thought recently of losing my photos of Ben, so I have spent the past few days uploading all of our photos to Google Photo. I scrolled through our last Happy Thanksgiving, November 2013. He wasn't even one year old and we spent the holiday at our best friend's house. It was a mixed emotion of joy and anger. More joy...reminiscence. I miss that.
I don't even know what I'm trying to say. I'm just writing as therapy. How do you help friends who have lost children during the holidays? Text or call them. It is that simple. The need for that doesn't end in a certain number of years. It does not go away. We all want to say "Life moves on. People change." But, in reality, the core of people changes very little and life doesn't move on for those who have lost. Some days, we swim in a pool of nothingness, not knowing which way is up or down, waiting for a kind soul to reach out a hand and save us. It is not pretty...well, not pretty in the sense of things we are meant to verbalize during the holidays. That's why I didn't text my Ridgefield friends today (no matter how much I wanted to speak to them), instead texting my Sandy Hook friend. I didn't want to seem needy or talk about things that weren't happy, but I still just need to be "me." It is a small group of us that understands.
Today, I'm still so thankful to have time, second chances, family, friends, love, so many things. Happy Thanksgiving!
Love you all.