During the holidays my wife and I were having a discussion about our Being With Grief meetup group. We started this group over a year ago and now have over 60 members. That number tells us there are a lot of people out there who recognize that they are suffering and grieving for one reason or another. Yet, only a handful of those people actually show up at each meeting.
Ah, the holidays.
Halls, houses, and lawns are decked with festive decorations. Kitchens are filled with delightful, savory aromas. The air is laced with laughter, familiar music, and the tinkling of Salvation Army bells.
The holiday spirit is everywhere.
When we’re missing someone, we tend to bump into them everywhere.
“What do I miss?” Andrea asked. “Everything! I miss everything. Everything reminds me of Aaron.”
“It doesn’t matter where I go or what I do, he’s gone. And it keeps hitting me in the face over and over and over again,” she continued.
I had seven years to mentally prepare myself for my father’s death. Seven years of battling cancer and its horrific aftermath. Four years of watching my father struggle with severe dysphagia while surviving on a Peg Tube. Four years of singing “Happy Birthday”, blowing out candles only to take the cake away from him.
Wayne lived out in the country. Walking into his house was like entering a cave. The curtains were drawn, the lights off.
Wayne sat in his recliner, staring at the wall. Neither of us said anything for several minutes.
Finally, Wayne began to shake. His face contorted as if in pain. His eyes were red from lack of sleep.
“I miss her so much,” he stammered.