Look… holidays are brutal when you’re grieving. They just are. You have to know this for the bereaved people in your life. There’s not much you can do.

Friends invited me over today for a wonderful Christmas gathering. The house was warm and full of kind people and spectacular food. They couldn’t have been nicer or more considerate. I felt the tears start to mount as soon as I stepped inside. Katy would have absolutely loved it, this was her absolute favorite kind of thing to do: gather with friends and family at holidays, and talk and eat and share stories. She should have been there with me. Everybody knew my situation, nobody said anything about it (which is the right thing to do), no awkward moments or silences. They were as welcoming as could be. I truly could not have asked for anything more generous.

I fell apart in the back room. I miss her so much. I would give everything i own for one more minute with her.

I stayed for a little while, and if she had been with me we’d still be there now, soaking it up and enjoying it. Without her, I just couldn’t take very much, as much as I appreciated all of their kindness and was glad I did go. All around me all I could see was the life I lost, the life with her that should have been full of days not being counted, the expectation that there would be Christmas next year too and the year after than and the decades after that, as there should have been, as there are for most people.

I don’t have any particular advice for people trying to figure out what to do for their grieving family members and friends at holidays. Just be aware that we’re going to lose it in the back room, if not right in front of you, and might have to leave early. Our future is gone. There is nothing anybody can do. Invite us if you can. Realize we won’t be able to thank you the way you deserve to be thanked for your kindness. Be understanding if we’re off. This shit is so fucking hard. Our world is entirely alien now. We are lost; our loss is incomprehensible and permanent, and you can’t help us with that beyond what you’ve already done. We thank you for caring and for reaching out and sharing, and we’re sorry we can’t always reciprocate or participate the way we’d want to, and that we can’t even say we’re sorry about that the way we could have in the before times.

Tomorrow I’m getting on a plane without her. She should be with me. I will cry when it lifts off. I will cry when it lands. Sixty-five days without her and the tears haven’t slowed even slightly. I miss her so much. I will love her forever.


3 responses to “holidays”

  1. Christopher Casey Avatar
    Christopher Casey

    We love you and would do anything for you, the thing we can’t do is take away the pain or loss. If I could do that Brother I would. I know you would never except that. I am here and not going anywhere. Lean on me!!

  2. Everyone was so glad you showed up through the pain and grief. I’m sorry you could not have enjoyed the time, but maybe again someday you will find some small joys in regular things like gatherings and museums and food and animals and friends that are your family.
    We all love you and need you.

  3. Deepa Prusty Avatar
    Deepa Prusty

    It is hard to grieve when life is moving on. Feeling numb is normal. You feel like you’re just going through the motions……to survive…..to keep up with responsibilities, etc. It’s all normal. Nobody tells you that. It’s okay to cry and miss your loved one and have an aching heart and use up all the tissues and have a sore nose and sore eyes. I remember being startled by hearing myself laugh 4 years after my mom died. It was really genuine laugh, not a fake one like all those other laughs when I was with company. I knew then that things would be okay, the numbness would start to fade and I would be able to really feel again. It takes time and it’s normal. That’s all that matters. xoxo

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