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The Holidays Without Him

First holidays without the love of my life and I am a mess. Which I heard is completely normal. I burst into tears at the slightest memory of our journey together, especially our last months. I still can't believe it. I'm still waiting for him to come through the door at any minute. I understand there are 7 steps to grief and during this time I've been between shock and denial, pain and guilt, especially during this holiday season.

Eric and I loved Christmas, however even though Thanksgiving is my favorite, Eric's favorite is Christmas. His favorite about the holiday was sitting in front of the fireplace with his feet up on the sofa, with jazz music in the background and drinking egg nog....lots of egg nog. Sometimes the eggnog was spiked, but most of the time it was just pure eggnog from the grocery store. He would go through it like it was water during this time of the year. I'd have a glass or two, but Eric...

This holiday was difficult for me. But I'm glad I had my family; my mom, sister, sisters-in-laws, auntie and friends to get me through. My husband sent me many gifts this year. I received a few boxes from Tiffany's and others for the holiday. It was thoughtful, thank you babe. But If I could give them all back and have him here with me, I would, in a heart beat, in a second. I lost it a few times, thinking about him and what we would be doing this Christmas. The plan was to spend it overseas, to experience Christmas in a different country and culture. Maybe next year I'll have the family come over and we can spend Christmas abroad...maybe.

Through the tears, the anger, the denial, the fear of being alone for the rest of my life, the hurt and pain I'm getting stronger and still had a pretty good Christmas this year. I certainly didn't want to spend it without Eric. Eric making fires in the fireplace, even though it's 65+ degrees in Atlanta. Eric sitting on the sofa with his feet up and drinking loads of egg nog. Eric telling me to stop eating the sweet potato pie my Auntie Bertha makes so well. And us dancing fast and slow to some of our favorite songs.

I think anyone who goes through and big transition, a life changing transition, especially one that includes the loss of a loved one, has to go through that transition in their own time and pace. Recognizing that the loss will always be a part of your life and discovering how to live with that reality is what this journey has been for me. Every day I have to reconcile the fact that Eric is not here, he's not coming back, he's not on a business trip and will return in a couple of months...he's gone, but not forgotten.

This holiday season, with everyone putting pictures of their family on Instagram and FaceBook in cute Christmas outfits or around the Christmas tree, was hard for me. Even thought Eric and I never did anything like that, it reminded me of family, love and celebration, even though that was just the two of us for some time. And every year we would have Christmas celebration at my sister's house. This year, we kept it small, just 6 of us; mom, sister, nieces and aunt Bertha. My brother in law and other niece, who is my favorite, Garnet did not come. I then went to my sister's house and slept over. It was a good Christmas, the gifts my husband sent me were absolutely beautiful. I wish he was here to share them....but I know he's here in spirit and is smiling upon us.

Merry Christmas babe, I miss you and will always love you...forever.

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