We celebrated Thanksgiving this weekend. When I think of what I’m thankful for, my answer is everything.
I can’t write a list like I did in the past because the list wouldn’t stop. I can’t single out one thing because they’re all magical.
We live each day with so much love and joy. And I try to make it enough.
I’ve been thinking of this Thanksgiving post all week. Trying to figure out what to write. When I found this quote it summed up what I felt. It was enough.
But tonight. Late at night. As I tap away on my phone (not my preferred way to write), my thoughts are different.
I am still filled with love and joy. Always.
But when I think about what comes after Thanksgiving three years ago this becomes a very hard time of year. I slide back easily and remember what each day was and what we were marching toward.
One giant, terrible hole. That is still with us. All the time. I am not grateful for the hole.
What I have of Matt is not enough.
So I live with the hole. I live with the love. I live with the joy. I am thankful. And I work to make it enough.
What a beautiful, honest and heartfelt post – and tribute. I don’t think anyone could or would reasonably expect you to be grateful for the hole. The price of love is grief, and the deeper the love, the deeper the grief. You can be grateful for the love, that which preceded the hole and that which follows it, but there is no denying that the death of Matt tore through the very fabric of your being.
Learning to live with the hole is the option that you have, and I believe that acknowledging it’s there is the way to get there, or perhaps ‘do that’ is a better way to put it, as it’s not a destination. I think it’s so normal and so fine to say that it’s three years on and you are still grieving. Society tends to place time limits on how long we are “supposed” to grieve, not taking a whole host of other factors into account. From what I can know of you from following along on your blog over the years, you are a serious person who loves very deeply. It makes sense that a loss of this magnitude echoes long through the years.
Also, though you haven’t mentioned this, there’s an ongoing loss of seeing Ellie grow up not getting to develop the relationship with her dad over time, and not getting to share the daily miracle and tedium of seeing her grow, with him. I can’t imagine there are not timew when you are acutely aware of either or both of these realities.
I guess overall I think we can appreciate the good and the beautiful more when we acknowledge the sad and the painful as well. Thank you for being real with us, your internet stranger/friends. I appreciate it, and you.
Thank you very much for your generous, genuine response. You are correct that the grief is rawest with Ellie. He is missing out on so much wonderfulness and amazingness (and tedium) with her. And she with him. That is the hardest for me to deal with. Life is always a balance. I was speaking with a friend today about how many people often play the “my-life-is-so-hard” game. I choose to play “my-life-is-so-great” as much as I can. I can acknowledge the sad and the painful, as you say, but I think that helps me find greater appreciation. Thank you for understanding that.