Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas Notes

A Holiday Memorial

As we light these 4 candles in honor of you, we light one for our grief, one for our courage, one for our memories and one for our love.

This candle represents our grief. The pain of losing you is intense. It reminds us of the depth of our love for you.

This candle represents our courage - to confront our sorrow, to comfort each other, to change our lives.

This candle is in your memory - the times we laughed, the times we cried, the times we were angry with each other, the silly things you did, the caring and joy you gave us.

This candle is the light of love. As we enter this holiday season, day by day we cherish the special place in our hearts that will always be reserved for you. We thank you for the gift your living brought to each of us. We love you.

My Grief Share facilitator and friend gave each of us these candles and the little saying, (adapted from The First Christmas After a Death by Susan Dunn) and it sits on my fireplace until Epiphany, with the other Christmas stuff. I do have to choke those words out as I say them, so I've only lit the candles a few times, but it's a sweet reminder of so many things.

The "short" story is that Christmas went better than I'd anticipated. I had my little meltdown and my blog spew beforehand (that post is coming on another's not a happy post so I don't want it here yet) and then everything was ok. Not great, but truly ok is a good thing. Someone asked me, the other night, how I was and in that moment I was actually of the only (if not THE only) times that's been a reality since May 18th and I didn't even realize it, until later that night. I truly know that prayer is sustaining us. Living without Brandon doesn't get easier as time goes on, at least not yet, and especially during the holidays, but two ok times within a few days is pretty remarkable.

There's a picture of the girl with her new jersey. Christmas didn't have to feel forced for any of us, I don't think. We did allow the girl to wake us up at 8am, which was most unpleasant for me since I hadn't slept at all or only slept for a couple of hours...I forget now which, but it wasn't much sleep, regardless. I figured I'd go right back to bed, as soon as we opened presents, but that didn't happen, so some things got rearranged a bit, which was also ok.

I have a new Christmas tradition: decorating a random tree (nothing fancy, just a few things that are gonna get blown away or whatever) with balloons and Christmas decorations. I plan on refining it a bit and having better decorations, maybe some battery powered lights and maybe Brandon's initials somewhere. I think this is a tradition that he would've thought was cool. The family thought I was nuts, but really who is gonna say no to the mom under these circumstances? No one in their right mind. I was unable, however, to convince them to drive me to the snow and real Christmas trees. Oh well. As an aside, I'm looking rather albino-ish for some reason and I'm short, but not that short...the man and girl stand on a hill.

One of Brandon's best friend's came by the day after Christmas and that was sorta hard. He brought scads of goodies that he made, which made me immediately think of Brandon because his family doing that always really touched my boy's heart. His friend is a good kid and really misses my boy and it's just a little unnerving to have to be the calm presence in the room because the poor thing is crying and crying. My heart hurts in so many different ways because of the loss of that kid. I'm so grateful that Brandon had friends like that in his life, though, and I really hope he understood how loved he was by so many people.

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