This was always my favorite time of year. I loved fall/winter – they are my season. And, while I still prefer these seasons over spring and summer (way too hot) I am not the biggest fan of the winter holidays anymore. I figured last year was because it was my first everything without Phoenix and I sure that played into it a lot. This year I have strong feelings about Thanksgiving and Christmas – and they aren’t pleasant. To me it is a forced time to be ‘merry and bright’ when really I want to release my inner Scrooge. But, I don’t. I pull myself out of bed. I paint on a smile. I am present. I swallow the food that taste like ash in my mouth. I don’t yell and scream. I don’t tell you how stupid you sound. Yes, this is my life.
I didn’t want to believe what I was told – that the second year after child loss is sometimes harder than the first. How could this possibly be true? Yet, I am finding that there are somethings that are harder. The first year is filled with shock. The shock that this is actually happening. The second year I am finding that it is not the shock that is difficult – but the reality that this is now life. That somebody will always be missing. That I don’t want family pictures taken because she is not here. That she will never have a name card at the table.
We put the Christmas Tree up last night. After Little Brother went to bed we turned off the light to see how the tree looked in the dark. And, there it was – that deafening silence. The house was too quiet. We remarked on how much she would of loved the tree. But would she? We will never know. We will never hear her squeals of delight as she opens a present. We will never get to play in the snow with her. There are so many secondary losses that they are innumerable.
Perhaps, that is why the second year is harder. It is during the second year that one can think clearer and realize all that will be missed.