I slowly walk down the stairs, step by step and the closet feels extremely far away. I make my way through the finished basement and end up in the storage room. I enter, and quickly find the tubs I came down to retrieve.
I face the tubs, stacked together, two trees sitting next to it all. I stare at the tubs and wonder, Will this be the day? Am I ready?
As I stand there, staring, I know the world keeps spinning, with many preparing for parties, presents, celebrations and programs.
I’m standing in front of my tubs as people post Elf antics or congratulate themselves for not hosting the creepy thing.
I stare at my decorations, as others have already unpacked, set out and garnished their houses to perfection. They sip wine by the glow, as mine remain packed and dark.
I stare at the boxes, as people debate about the meaning of Christmas or get excited about holiday savings.
I’m standing there staring at the tubs thinking, Will this be the day? Am I ready to decide if three hung stockings are harder to look at than four?
Life is clearly moving on for most, yet I struggle with my ex-favorite time of year. It feels like the world has no understanding of my pain, my loss. At the same time, I know, I’m not the only one in pain.
I’m faced with the reality that in a couple of weeks, the older one remains 34 while the younger one turns 36. The day in between, once was a day of celebration, now is a memory that belongs in nightmares.
I KNOW my children deserve the holiday, lights, magic, and all it entails. This is yet another delicate balance of what is good for them, just might send me over the edge, a normal struggle of long-term grief.
As the season is unfolding and so many are celebrating, I’m journeying down to the basement and eventually back up again, with nothing in hand. Someday, I will find the strength to face the memories, but today is not that day.