Last Sunday I hosted my best friend's baby shower. I felt honored to play such a key role in the celebration her pending arrival but, as expected, it really took it out of me.
Through the endless baby chat and the parade of adorable presents I was able to fix my smile in place and compartmentalise the pain of my own broken heart but after the last guest left and my house was stripped of giant balloons and garlands of bunting, the break down came.
I laid on my lounge for an hour, my head in my mum's lap and she held me while the tears flowed.
I don't regret putting myself in that position. My heavily-pregnant friend's baby joy is confronting but I want to be there for it. I love her so I am chosing to embrace this part of her life rather than letting myself pull away. I prepare for the low it brings with it and ride the waves as they crash around me.
Today, after a tough week, I'm making a bit of happiness for myself. I'm jumping on a plane with my family (including three ridiculously-excited five-year-old nephews) for a few days in beautiful Fiji.
I had a good day today. It was a nice day that I was lucky enough to spend with really good, really dear friends.
My own family is 4 hours away in another state, so getting to them over Thanksgiving isnt usually possible, due to the short time off I have from work. So, for the past few years, it has become almost a new tradition for me to spend this day with my old college friends, and their family, in their home. While I was there, I was happy. I had a nice time. We laughed, we had great food and conversation, and we took the time to remember the ones who have died and honor them with words and a toast. It was a really lovely holiday.
And then I got back to my apartment.
Somehow, my computer erased the post I’d been working on this week. I am NOT grateful for that. Grrrrr.
But what I’d planned to say will probably not come as a surprise. It’s Thanksgiving again and it’s just not an easy time for us widowed folk. No matter what else lovely we find in our lives in the strange after-world, it is painful to remember all the happy T-days we spent with our missing loved one; to notice the void at the table.