My late husband and I were a few of the fortunate people who could say they were born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. We both grew up in a suburban town just a few miles south of San Francisco and saying that we took it for granted is an understatement.
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: