January is almost over, so if I am going to write a post on the New Year and the past Holiday season, I’d better get on it before it is next year already.
We made it through the Holidays basically unscathed. It seemed at every turn, I set out to write something about whichever holiday was nearing. Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, New Year’s Eve, and yet, when I sat down at the computer and stared at the blank screen, nothing really significant came forth. So maybe that is what I can talk about.
It has been three years since Jake died and took so much of our lives with him. Each year, I have taken stock of what progress, if any, I made that year, and what, if anything, new things I learned about myself or my progress on this journey, or the people around me, or anything, really. And as I think about the past year, and where we are, I realize I have no new brilliant insights to share. No revelations on how to deal with the crushing sadness I carry around with me daily. Oh, I can laugh, have a ‘good time’, smile, crack a joke, the mask fits pretty good now, but the melancholy is so close to the surface it doesn’t take much to have it bubble up in the most unlooked for places.
Humans can get “used to” nearly anything, and this year I have gotten more used to not having Jake in our lives, if only by the most minute of increments. We are “people who have lost a child”, and I am settling into that label more and more. I know many such people both personally and virtually, some farther along, some newly minted. Frankly, I hate it. I hate not having my son in this world anymore. I may have “accepted” it, resigned to it is more like it, I may be a bit more “used to it”, but I still can’t quite believe it. I will be in the WTF stage for the rest of my life.
What we are doing is getting by. Just getting by, day to day. Perhaps that is the most significant thing I can share. I’m getting by. Doing the best I can. Some days I still want to crawl back into bed and pull the covers over my head. Some days I am exhausted from the moment I wake up. I heard a proverb somewhere that I paraphrase: When the soul is exhausted, sleep does no good. And my soul is exhausted. Some days are better. I can be somewhat productive, I can even fool myself into thinking I’m happy for the moment. I wish I could take that with me for the days when I feel like shit. But it really is day by day.
What does help is activity. We were up north last week for a trade show and to visit some friends. One of whom will be helping us plan our estate. After all, I’m not getting any younger. The difficult part is that we have no heir. Our family tree has had its branches lopped off. No one to watch out for us as we get older. No one to take care of our affairs, no one to whom we will bequeath our family heirlooms. So what do we do? I guess we’ll figure that out as we go.
So that’s it. My observations of the new year. Not much here, I know. The days crawl by, the weeks flit by, the months rush by. Three years. Soon it will be five, ten, twenty. What new insights will reveal themselves in the coming years? I’ll let you know when I find out. For now, I’m just getting by.
Ed, I’m so sorry. Jake should be here with us.
I have the mask too and people think I’m OK. I’m never. We are only a year and a half in. May is coming up-the anniversary of year 2. That’s all I can think about and I’m dreading it. Missing our girl, Sarah. Thanks for posting and God bless you.
Kathy- I am so truly sorry for your loss. I wish I had some magic words that would make it all better. We miss Jake every minute of every day. Hang in there. Peace to you and yours.
Ed, So true! Your writing is honest and heartfelt and I think that it perfectly expresses what we feel, but maybe don’t want to give voice to. Thank you for doing that, so that we don’t feel alone! You may not feel like you have anything to say but what you just wrote matters more than you know!
Barb, I could say the exact same thing about your writing. Thank you.