The last 2 years I have been perfectly content to remain in my “black-out” of emotions – drifting through Thanksgiving and then Christmas. I have no specific memory of the first Thanksgiving after David’s death. I can only remember being with my children which always in any situation provides such comfort and joy for me. The following year  brought it’s own set of problems and an awkward attempt at gathering. I’m feeling challenged by my thoughts and emotions as the holidays approach this year.
It’s an odd place the in-between space of heartache and hope. How does someone move into a new future without losing all of the rich memories of a past – a shared identity of 30 years. Holidays were such an event in our home even in those difficult seasons. I remember my husband’s anticipation and excitement that always transcended to his children – to me. We celebrated Thanksgiving with gratitude for the blessings and provisions of that year because we were never without an “add-on” to the chairs that assembled around our gathering table and the friends who became family. I can only find the words to describe Christmas in our home as safe & warm filled with lots of laughter [family antics] and love – the kids would make their way home for the holiday on Christmas Eve and we felt very blessed that our home was full. I have vivid memories of our very special Christmases. Yet each memory is now both a blessing and an awful reminder of what has been lost. A wonderful time in my life – a life that no longer exists. It’s a difficult transition – navigating to that new place in your life and I find the struggle to be ever present especially during the holiday season but it is that little, very tiny glimpse of hope that hangs on to that little shattered piece of your heart – it whispers softly in your moments where the circumstances of your life seem bigger than what you can handle – whispers softly to try again just one more time …
I have found comfort in the memories of those who have shared of my husband’s benevolence in their lives. His generosity was limitless and I am extremely honored – the lives he touched were profound in numbers. “Giving thanks with a grateful heart” was his approach to life and anyone he came into contact with was simply better just by having known him.
As a family we’ve chosen to participate in the Thanksgiving Outreach program providing a way for us to reach out and meet the needs within our community. It will become a new Thanksgiving tradition and the living legacy of David.
The decisions we make (post-loss) will never be easy never simple – never black and white. We move in that gray area of life learning to live in both worlds, never forgetting the life we had all the while trying to create a new life. My new future although uncertain I have discovered that within the deepest part of my soul – a longing to survive; thrive.“not what we say about our blessings but what we do with them is the true measure of our Thanksgiving” – tozer