I See the Light…

I was dreading Christmas this year and the all too familiar anniversary grief.  I really didn’t want it to ruin Christmas for my husband and kids.  I didn’t want to be the “downer” at every event and yet I know that I need to give myself the freedom to grieve.  It’s a fine balance.

So, having a family get-together yesterday on the anniversary of my Mom’s passing and in Steinbach no less was very daunting.   Could I deal with it?  Would I make a blubbering fool of myself?  Should I even go?  But I was determined to be there for my husband and kids.  So I arranged to have time for myself for several hours during the day and decided to go.  Driving into town was difficult.  I felt like I went back in time.  It was last year all over again, just without the snow.  Drove past the funeral home and then her last apartment and I could feel the anxiety rising.  I had told my husband that if I needed to I might just leave for a bit to have some time alone but I made it through with just a few quiet times downstairs.  My husband’s oldest brother came down and told me that my Mom was on his mind for the last few days and we shared a few tears and a few stories when I confirmed that it was the anniversary.  He had gone to visit my Mom several times in her last few months and my Mom loved it.  He brightened her day, and wore yellow; her favorite color.  My Mother-in-law and I also shared a hug and a few tears.

When we left and drove back through town was when I started to see it.  I was saying to my husband that I was just so happy to be going home with him opposed to last year when I had stayed at my Mom’s apartment with my Aunt.  And I started to think of the days to come this week compared to last year.  I’m not making phone calls and planning for pall bearers, I won’t be at a funeral tomorrow etc.  And I realized that it is all better from here.  Every day this year will be better than last year.  The pain and grief will be less every day.  I have faced the worst of it and survived.  I know that I will still miss her and there will be tough days.  But I also know that I am moving forward.

I see the light at the end of the tunnel.

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