That first Christmas, 6 years ago, after Amy died, was hard. The echoes of that year's grief have faded but still reverberate, softly, against the walls. I read in social media, FaceBook, elsewhere, others who have lost a loved one recently or less recently grappling with this time of year. Here in the northern hemisphere it is darker longer. It is colder. That feels right. But that is nature's doing.
Then there is humankind's doing. Celebrations and toasts to the future. Honoring the life of a newborn child. Family and friends and gifts. Joyful and triumphant. All of which create a high-key contrast to our specific suffering. A return to the normal banality of normal time is the only respite, dimming the lights that reveal our pain.
Hope. We want this to be a season of hope. I went to Target yesterday and they were sold out. The liquor store is a better place and 6 years ago, and sometimes still, helped. There is no hope there either, to be sure, only resignation. But, for a while, she takes away the hope-less-ness.
Love. Somewhere there is love. That is where the solace is found. That is the season's reason. But, you say, letting the love find me and take me away is what also lead me to the edge of new grief the last time. Fear, then, becomes the barrier and the room we lock ourselves in. Stay in there if you must, for now.
Grief is an endurance race. And no matter the laps we've taken, there will be one more lap. Love is the same way. That is our curse and our blessing.