A Happy and Thankful Life

’tis the season for heartache

It’s been 7 weeks since I’ve last posted. That is not what I intended. I’m still making note of things to be grateful for but some days are harder than others.

In October, I was told that the holiday season tends to be a big grief trigger for many people. I underestimated how much it would impact me. The holidays haven’t been the same since my mom died in October 2004. She always went all out for holidays: huge meals, lots of baking, and gifts for everyone. J knew how I struggled with the holidays and because of him, I started to enjoy them again. For the Christmas he spent in the hospital, we were supposed to be on our honeymoon but spent it decorating a paper tree and putting up lights in his room. He tolerated the crowds at Wildlights because I loved the beauty of the lights. Finding anything related to The Christmas Story for him. He went to Midnight Mass because he knew how much it meant to me that he was by my side. We loved spending Thanksgiving with my aunts, uncles and cousins and spending Christmas in Florida with his parents, siblings and nieces. It worked for us. The holidays were about us, this new family and traditions we created, even before we were married.

Now, November and December are just harsh reminders of what I don’t have. Our second anniversary would have been November 14th. Thanksgiving was spent with me sick on the couch, alone. His birthday would be coming up this Friday. We would be getting ready for our annual trip to Florida. Christmas Eve will mark six months since John passed away. And then there’s Christmas. Everywhere I go, I see things that I would have bought as gifts for him. With his birthday being so close to Christmas, I always made sure that he received good gifts for both. Just like he made sure I had an Easter basket separate from my birthday gift.

Part of me feels as though, at almost 6 months, I should be better. I’m trying to remind myself that the pain I feel is normal. I keep praying that the more I say it, the more I believe it. The group counselor reminds us that the only way to deal with grief is to go through it. You can’t go around it. There are no short-cuts and there is no pre-determined path to take. It can’t be avoided or ignored. But in this process, I don’t like what it has done to me. I am not “normal” Nicole. I don’t like this version of me at all. And it is quite obvious that numerous others don’t like this version either. But I’m not sure how to get as I’m not the same person I was before. It is hard to go from having a sense of control over your life to having no control over anything in your life. I try to grasp onto anything I can to make sense of this new world. There are things I do that help me get through the day so that I don’t break down and cry in the most inappropriate places. If I block certain things out, I can make it until I’m alone in the car or at home. The simplest and even seemingly unrelated things trigger tears lately. Our plans for our life together no longer mean anything. There is this massive void in my life that can’t be filled. I miss him and I miss the life we had together.

On that note, I’m going to continue this break until after Christmas. I’m simply not strong enough right now.  I will return as I miss writing; I just need a bit more time to sort my head and heart out.

But for now, things I am grateful for. I am unbelievably blessed to have kind friends that sit with me and listen and cry with me. That understand what I am trying to say and what I really mean even when I’m struggling with my words. That are patient with me as I burst into tears for seemingly no reason but understand. That know when to talk about anything other than him and at other times when I need to talk about him. That have faith that I will return to the person I was before, even when I fear I won’t. Friends like this are hard to find and I’m very grateful to have them in life even when I prove to be a pretty horrible friend and person.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks


  1. * myimpretentious says:

    I love you, and I miss you, and I am praying for you. Chin up. Call me if you ever need anything.

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 6 months ago
    • * nmlynn says:

      I’m praying for you too. It has to get easier, right? We’ll have to figure out a good time for us to meet up. Miss you and love you too!

      | Reply Posted 6 years, 5 months ago


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