As we approach another holiday season, I can feel the walls closing in and the weight bearing down. I’m holding on by a spider’s thread. The other day, my boss at work asked, “Are you ok? You seem a little down today,” and I started crying. I cry on the way to work in the morning and on the way home at night. I cry between 2 and 4am most nights. I’m overwhelmed and overcome with how much THIS. FUCKING. HURTS.
This was always Nolan’s favorite time of the year. He had the best time decorating for Halloween. From hand-made creepy signs to setting up a mini-haunted path to the front door, everything was his doing. His creativity was given free reign, and each year we were excited to see what he came up with. Last year Heather was home and she and Nason took care of the decorating. I wanted to decorate Nolan’s grave, but Ray had issues with that, so I let it go. I thought Nolan would get a kick out of spooking his resting place. Perhaps he would have. Perhaps next year he will. This year I was unable to decorate at all. The thought of another Samhain without him devastated me.
My Grandmother passed on Samhain 9 years ago, which was a completely fitting time for her to go, being the very first (and only so far) Weather Witch I had the honor of knowing. She was the matriarch of our family, my rock in times of trouble, my biggest fan, and staunchest supporter. She gifted me with her mischievous nature and tendency towards pranks on children. I, in turn, gifted this same quality to Nolan. I feel both of their absences deeply on Halloween, yet I know they are having a blast spooking around together. I also know that both of them are disappointed in my inability to enjoy this sacred day. It’s the first time I have ever shut off the lights and not even given out candy. I can only hope to be stronger next year.
Thanksgiving was Nolan’s favorite holiday. It encompassed everything that meant the most to him. Family, food, and time together. The past few years, he went to my sister’s house a couple of days before Thanksgiving to help cook. His passion for food and talent for cooking were a gift to all of us! I’m so glad he had that special time with his Auntie and Uncle. Last Thanksgiving was one of the worst days of my life. If you want a recap on that, here’s the blog. (right-click and open in a new tab because I am not a technical person and have no idea how to make that work as a default.) https://livingbetweenbreaths.wordpress.com/2014/12/04/cheese-platter-from-hell/ It was a nightmare for me. This year Thanksgiving will be at my house. We’ve never had it here before. I’m hoping that doing something so different will allow for new memories to be made and some happiness to seep in. Nolan would love to have had the big day here in the past, and I know he’ll be hanging around the kitchen. I’m not intending to cook because I know it will destroy me. Ray has offered to take on the task. He’s stronger in some ways than I am. Or maybe he’s just better at compartmentalizing. Either way, I’m so grateful for his offer.
This is the season of gratitude. I need to voice the things that I am still grateful for, because there are some. When they’re listed out, I’m surprised to find there are so many. I intend to hold myself accountable for finding gratitude in something each day. Follow me on Facebook to find out what I discover. (Again, not a techie. right-click, new tab this.) https://www.facebook.com/lvgbetweenbreaths/?fref=ts&ref=br_tf
I’ll post the first one here. Today, this first day of November, and the official start of my Attitude of Gratitude Challenge, I am thankful for being able to give myself a Grief Day. It’s been coming on for the past couple of weeks, and I haven’t had time for it. It seems a horrible thing to be thankful for! I wish I didn’t have need of Grief Days, but I do. I need to allow the feelings in and accept their washing over me. In the midst of it, I think I’ll never come back out of it. The truth is that somehow I always do, and for the next short time period, I’m a little stronger. I am getting stronger, which is a story for another day. Today is a day for sadness, for tears, for a soft blanket, and a warm bed.