For the past 7 years my husband and I looked forward to highlighting all four children in our Christmas cards that we sent out every year to family and friends.
And so they’ve arrived. I have to admit; I had been dreading the arrival of the holiday season since early summer. I knew they’d arrive, I just didn’t know how fast and how hard.
My father passed away when I was 23 years old. I was engaged at 26 and I remember going through the wedding planning process with a hollow heart.
As we enter this week, many of us will be experiencing joy and gratitude in many different ways: Kids coming home from college, family getting together for the holidays, bountiful feasts on the table and so much more. I will be one of those people focusing on what I am grateful for because it’s what has provided some of the strength and comfort to help me overcome what I’ve lost this year.
The other night I decided to attend a session that they were offering at my church called, “GRIEF: The Uninvited Guest This Holiday Season.” I have been attending private grief counseling which has helped me get through the dark times, but I wanted to see if therapy in a group setting would help as well, since my therapist encouraged me to be aware that I am not in this alone.
This past Saturday morning I had an early flight out for a quick business trip. I left the house and parked in my usual parking lot near the airport. For the first time in a few weeks, I felt great. I was happy, and in a good place. I walked out of the door telling myself, “Today is going to be a great day for you. Make it happen.”
Yesterday marked exactly six months to the day that my husband suddenly passed from a brain aneurysm. I had to stop in my tracks yesterday to think about that. A half of a year has gone by without him. Wow. Six months. I’ve survived a half of a year without him. A half of a year of firsts, many tears, and many conversations, smiles and love about the memories he left behind.
Yesterday marked a day of peace, solitude and closure for my family; after almost 6 months, we finally spread my husband’s ashes and laid him to rest.
Before I describe this beautiful day I want to share with you what led to the decision about where we decided to lay him to rest.
It’s been almost 6 months since my husband passed (163 days to be exact). I have lived 163 days in a world of unpredictable emotions each and every second of every day. I feel like grief is my opponent and I’m trying to defend it from scoring. But grief is leading about 1,000 to 1 right about now. Lately it’s been kicking my ass and I hate it. I finally grabbed its playbook and here’s how it reads:
When my husband died, I was overwhelmed by the flood of emails, texts, calls, cards, flowers, meals and all of the other heartfelt gifts that people extended to myself and my family. The gratitude was overwhelming (and still is). I live in a suburban town just outside of