Well it was Thanksgiving number 5 without Daniel. I've said it before, but really, it is just hard to believe. It seems like he was just here.
This was the first one that wasn't quite so difficult to bear. Grayson and I usually go to the coast with my family and spend a couple of days fishing, collecting sea shells, feeding the sea gulls (like this picture) and just relaxing.
Every year for the past 4, I have at some point had to take a moment or 30 alone to cry my heart out and just wallow in the missingness. This year the need just didn't occur. It wasn't that I didn't miss him, I did. It just wasn't so painful this time. It was more normal - more" this is the way it is". I was grateful for it, and sad about it too.
I knew the day would come when it would be more normal for us, and on my darkest days I looked forward to that time. However, having reached that point (at least for now, I'm sure a wave will come again in the future - that much is guaranteed), having reached that point, it makes me a little sad. How can it be so long that it doesn't hurt as much? The distance that thought creates in my mind is hard to bear. The less painful it is, the less close I am to the feelings and memories of him. Right? I expected that to happen, but now I'm not so sure. I don't feel farther away from him or less attached to the memories. I just feel more peaceful about it, and find myself smiling at my many memories instead of crying.
It is a minor shift, but when I open my eyes and truly see what's in front of me....when I stop focusing on what isn't there and appreciate what is....wow, how nice. I feel peaceful in a way I haven't in a long time.