Christmas #4

An entry that never got posted…

This is my 4th Christmas without Drey. That is so hard to believe. Time has gone by very quickly.

Last year after Christmas, Robbie announced that “next year we will have a tree and decorate.” I thought I might send cards too. Well, we made progress this year… We still didn’t go downstairs to get the tree, ornaments and decorations because all those memories are just sitting there waiting to jab at my heart. It’s still just too much. But we did buy a little pre-lit table top tree and have had it out since Thanksgiving. We even have one ornament on it. The rest of the ornaments are laying on the table around the tree. They didn’t quite make it onto the tree. The ornaments are from the past 3 years. A few were gifts, some have been handmade by us in remembrance of my baby, and the rest are from vacations. We are making new memories.  Happy memories.

I also thought I might send cards this year. Well… I sent business-related cards but not personal ones. Progress.

For the most part it just takes too much emotional energy to fully engage in the holidays the way we used to. It’s still too much to even think about Christmas’s past. David has grown up in a home where we celebrated each year with Christmas decorations in every room – even the bathroom. Where we celebrated Easter and I hid eggs even as the kids were older. Where we went to Disney every year. And on and on. Then Drey died and it all stopped. I couldn’t engage in any of it. Hell, I didn’t even see David that first Christmas after Drey died because I packed up and stayed at my parents. I won’t be winning any stepparent of the year awards anytime soon. I did the best I could, truly. And I spent enough time beating myself up for letting everyone down. No point in rehashing that misery.

I am blessed beyond words to have Robbie, David, my parents and my dear friends who have stood by me. I was reminded of that this morning as I had coffee with another bereaved Mom and she shared some of her family dynamics after her son’s death. Grief is unique, intimate and exhausting. I used to think “loss is loss” and “pain is pain” – it’s all the same. Wrong. Never have I experienced such excruciating sorrow as losing my baby to suicide.

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