An Open Letter to the Holidays…
As you know, the past 4 years I’ve been trying to figure out life without Clayton. He was always here when you arrived so after he died I couldn’t handle seeing you. I knew you were coming but I couldn’t hang up decorations and I refused to answer when you unselfishly sang carols outside my door.
2018 I hid. 2019 I was angry. 2020 I was lost and depressed yet you still showed up knowing I wasn’t ready. You knew I needed time and I really just needed you to keep coming back around.
In 2017, Clayton, my mom and I went and got his (our) last tree. It hurt but also filled my heart to let him pick the grandest tree he could find. The next year I cried in the grocery store when the holiday songs came on. I feared the joy. 2019 brought anger. I hated to see twinkling lights and unbroken hearts. It was certainly not the most wonderful time of the year but I kept a smile because it was my holiday weight to bear.
Last year was filled with uncertainty. I was able to travel home to be with my family but the stress of the year had me exhausted and bitter. I was not in a good place and I kept handing myself coal. My heart was shattered and frozen but somehow it started to thaw in the spring. Time does not heal all wounds. Time is the quiet farmer who sows the saddened soils and slowly gathers up our grief. Time silently collects our tears and uses them to water the grief we grow from. This Fall, Time showed me something I haven’t seen in years – fields of happiness ready for the harvest.
I’m so very grateful that you kept checking in on me and you gifted me grace in my grief. You gave me time to dig out of the avalanche of sadness. So please accept my apologies dear Holidays now that I’m strong enough to dust the grief of the garland…