This Christmas the veil between where Phil is and where I am seems to be much thinner than in years past. Michelle and I once talked about the "feeling" of knowing our husbands were in the room.
Michelle remarked that she wasn't sure if knowing for sure that Daniel was right there would make her feel better or worse. If he were right next to you, but you couldn't touch him or hold him or hear his voice would that drive a person insane? This is what we wondered aloud.
Phil has showed up for Christmas sporadically over the years. Some years I have felt him very clearly, either through things he would have done or the many things I have learned to do in his absence. Other years I have wanted to scream into the heavens..."Where are you?" Every year since his death Christmas has been a little different. I miss him most when sitting on the couch watching the kids open their gifts. Or when I leave the family party and bundle up my kids to drive home alone. The empty bed that waits for me is particularly difficult to climb into at the end of a day filled with joy and laughter.
But this year Phil has been around more than ever before. Maybe he knows I need his assurance that the life changes ahead for me are okay with him. Perhaps he gets the idea that I can handle knowing he is near, but not be able to touch or hear him. I guess it could be that my heart isn't pierced by the happy memories of Christmases past like it has been in years past, so I welcome the visions of us instead of shying away from them.
In any case, my Christmas message from Phil this year is that he loves me and that he is never far away.
That may just be the message for all of us.