How have you been gone for five Christmases already? We miss you tremendously. Slowly, painfully, agonizingly we have crawled out of the pit of despair that we fell into when you left us. We have tentatively taken hesitating steps back into life. We have guarded our hearts against unkind and unthinking words of people who really are just trying to make themselves feel better. We have found fellow sufferers who are journeying this path too, and joined them.
Tragedies have happened. Your good friend Derric departed this world in a horrendous car crash, as I’m sure you know, leaving behind Cheyenne and four little children. We lost Grandpa John after a long illness. Others have faced the agony of loss of their beloved children, some as young as newborns, some just starting out their adult life. It doesn’t make sense. All I know is that this isn’t heaven.
I am so proud of your sisters who have carried on bravely, refusing to be destroyed. They are pursuing their dreams and making good choices to tend to their hearts. Dad and I are doing the same. But what does it look like to move forward in this life without you? How is it even possible? We do it because we must.
I am so thankful for your friends, who remember me and text me at the holidays and on Mother’s Day and on your birthday. I am very grateful for new friends who have been so supportive and understanding. I am especially thankful for the people we met after you passed away who tell us they feel like they know you because of what we share with them. You are very much alive in our minds and hearts.
I’m thankful that you come to me in my dreams, that you show me heaven and remind me to keep looking up. I’m thankful that you came to Italy with me, visiting me in my sleep.
You are not forgotten. But there will always be a Nate-shaped hole in our lives.
I love you so much.
For those that are grieving, know that we are, too. For those who have not faced this agony, I am grateful. I wish none of us had. If you want to better understand, read this: An Open Letter to Grievers
Sent from my iPhone