Stranger in the Room

I’ve made it through our anniversary, his birthday, Halloween, my birthday, Thanksgiving and now Christmas. Each one felt empty in ways I couldn’t explain. You truly don’t realize how much a person is part of you until that part is suddenly gone. I made a point for me to be back home with my family for Christmas. My career has made me miss many holidays with family but I couldn’t miss this one. I’d feel too lonely, or so I thought…

Don’t get me wrong, my trip home was wonderful!

 

They threw me a belated surprise birthday party. I was so excited to see so many people I care about and I caught myself reaching back to grab Tin’s hand in excitement and he wasn’t there. I started to cry and played it off as happy tears but that empty air left me gasping….

 

A fun brunch to celebrate a successful business my sister and I joined this year. We all talked about how much we love the products and how we just want everyone to be involved to feel like we do but in the moment I didn’t want anyone to feel the way I did. Everyone was joking how their person was involved or not involved and there were plenty of jokes but I didn’t have any…

 

Christmas Eve full of food Tin would have loved. Tin loved being with my family because it is a large, loud and loving band of Bostonians. The attention was on the kids and the surprise visit by Santa (my Uncle dressed up every year). It was a comfortable reminder of my childhood but than he asked those young kids “What would you like for Christmas?” and I felt sick. There’s no magic red bag big enough and no team of reindeer strong enough to get Tin back under my tree Santa…

 

Christmas Day and I got to see my nephews wake up (one snuck down the stairs early lol) and open their presents from Santa. The full stockings were placed by the chimney with care. So were the half eaten cookies and carrots I created the night before. The other side of the family took the day. Kids running around, new toys everywhere, more good food than one ever needs, families, parents, couples and than just me…

 

In rooms full of friends and family, I was a stranger in a familiar crowd. My next three big firsts are a bit different: New Years with no plans, Valentine’s with no one and the first anniversary of Tin’s passing. Crowd or no crowd, I’m now the familiar stranger in the room…


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  • Jamie S
    commented 2018-12-30 11:40:27 -0800
    Your comment about reaching for Tin’s hand reminded me of something similar that happened to me. A friend of mine took me on a weekend trip for my first birthday without my husband. We were in this painting class and I went to grab my phone to text my husband about it. It was only a split second between reaching for my phone and remembering that he was dead, but it was such a strong blow. It felt like someone had just punched me in the stomach and knocked the wind out of me. I know her intention was to give me something happy to do to keep my mind occupied, but all I could think about was how much I wanted to share it with Ed.