Because it wasn’t a special time of year for us, maybe I just didn’t feel his absence any more than I do on a normal day. I miss him every day, so this day was like all the others. It was hard to see couples and families, but that’s always hard. It’s almost harder on ordinary days. Even couples and families who don’t want to be together often feel duty-bound to spend time together during the holidays. It’s the normal days when there’s no expectation to be together that the togetherness I see around me hits me hardest.
Then, there's numbness. I'm pretty sure that it plays a part here. I think I'll know better in hindsight, but I'll venture to bet my mind is protecting me a little by going somewhat numb.
I’ve also been feeling some pride. I’ve made it 7 months. I have reached out for help and love from those who love me. I’ve begun building this new life from the rubble his death left behind. I’ve survived. I am stronger than I ever believed possible. And now, I’ve survived the holidays (well…almost) and can maybe, just maybe, see a ray of hope for next year. The chance to create new traditions and celebrate my survival of another year is there for me if I want to accept it.