So many words you guys. Been gone for so long and there are so many words but today there are just a few. I need somewhere to work this out. Somewhere that isn't Facebook.
Can I just start by trying to express how much I love Christmas time? I have been head over heels for it even since I was 5 and bringing sticks I found in the back yard indoors to be decorated with necklaces. I love Christmas and all it celebrates. Family, tradition, the birth of the savior of the world our precious Abba Jesus Christ. I love it, ya'll.
Last year I shuffled my way through my favorite time of year watching Aunt B fight her courageous battle to stay in our time. She fought on past New Years Eve and several weeks later won her place in heaven. Every single Sunday in Advent last year, I bawled my way through each hymn and carol that our church sang. Tears rolling down my cheeks, these songs provided a release of some of grief I was carrying around. Last year they lost their celebratory feel and instead felt mournful and full of comfort and safety. A time and place to let it all go. And I did. Of course I had been crying my way through church for the last 6 months so I didn't think much of the fact that the Advent services were wrecking me.
After she passed away I continued my tear stained participation for several more months before some of the songs I knew and loved stopped making me sob. It felt good to be back in a place of worship instead of grief.
The Holidays are here again and imagine my surprise when I started crying at church again about two weeks ago. I found myself dreading the holiday decorations.. showing up that first Sunday of Advent a bundle of nervous irritation trying to feign excitement about the beauty of the decor. I couldn't sing my bottom lip was trembling so hard. I laid my head on Stephen's shoulder and stayed there.
Watching someone you love, more than you were ever able to express to them in this life, die a horrific and painful death at the hands of a disease like cancer is a weight that is hard to explain unless you have been there yourself. It pulls you down into a place of doubt and sadness that you may not have known before. Its like everywhere you look you see the world going along its way, but all you see is what lies beneath the facade.. the potential for this type of suffering in every passing face. Will it be you next time ? Or you? Or me? Simultaneously you want to scream "We are losing her!! Don't you guys understand who we are losing?!? Do you even know what it's going to be like without her!?" But you don't, you just keep walking around trying to keep it together and not take it out on those closest to you.
Well I am here to tell you that the heaviness of that loss can all come crashing back if you lost someone during a particular season. For me it was Christmas and I stand here, crushed by the weight of it all. The memories, the blank stares while other sing in celebration. These crazy day dreams that she isn't gone and that I can do it differently this time.
Death is so brutal in it's insistence. The damage it does to anyone nearby is real and permanent. I hope in time that I will come to see my favorite time of year as festive and exciting again. I know time heals things like this. But for now the pain is very real and very fresh. More so than I thought it would be. So if you know anyone who lost someone during this time of year.. give them an extra hug. Shoot them a text or email letting them know you are thinking about them. Every little bit of love helps to counteract the effects of the pain.