I'm not moping, I'm thankful. Still, the holidays are just hard because best of all memories happen this time of year and it hurts to think of the old ones with her and the new ones without her.
I cannot sidestep that particular pain. This, like all other stages of this mess, is another part the people left behind are required to face.
I went to group counseling for the last time a month ago and at the end of the session they asked what it was that I learned. I said, "I learned that you either heal and move forward or you move forward without healing, but either way you move forward." The one way is just far superior to the other.
(It’s not a concept I came up with. I was just repeating back what other people had taught me in my own simplified form.)
I kind of hate it because what I really want is for things to never change. I want it to stay as frozen in 2021 as possible so I can hold on to what was. Why is that not an option?
But it’s not and that’s one of life’s great mercies. Time never gets stuck. It’s just us.
Thank God my kids’ school didn’t stop on January 24th. And that work projects still came in with brand new deadlines that carried me into the spring. Summer came with all the activities and energy that our family loves. And here we are in fall.
Today is the last first Thanksgiving without her. I can never redo this day, but look at it another way: I never have to redo this day. If the last 10 months have taught me anything, it’s that the pain will come. And our family's goal has never been to hurt as little as possible, but to heal as well as possible.
I think we’re getting there and I’m thankful.