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Most Americans love a holiday, especially ‘the holidays’, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Some have family come over, some go see family, others take trips to a favorite place. It seems most people try to keep a tradition of some sort, even if the tradition is to do something different.

We used to visit family on Christmas and Thanksgiving at the very least for over twenty years. Then we stayed home five years to build a tradition with Caleb that he was willing to keep. The idea was that he, and eventually his family, would hopefully visit us after he graduated college on the holidays.

Now, we are clueless about how to spend the holidays. Our anxieties refuse to consider staying home, not an option. The empty chair screams at me constantly on regular days. I do not want to know what it is like on a holiday. What makes me think it will be worse? Because we have tried many things to distract us on the holidays and his absence during this time always feels more real.

We have tried going to Myrtle Beach on Christmas, and his absence was palpable. Two different friends have invited us into their homes and while it was nice to spend time with them, I barely survived those holidays. We tried seeing family like we used to do, with the same crushing results mixed with extra family drama that I cannot handle during what is already a tough time.

Because of the way the school schedule runs into Caleb’s deathday, and how Donna’s job usually keeps her in town right up to it, we normally have to bunker down in the house on those days. It is hellishly miserable. Each hour stretches out before me for nearly an eternity, dragging each minute and second with it. Each tick of the second hand pounds out, echoes, and waits for permission from an unknown force to move again. Time moves freakishly slow, such that by the end of the day, several years have passed. That is one day, not the four to eight in the holidays.

What am I to do? I know nothing will cure me. I am afraid there is nothing that will let me have a somewhat peaceful holiday.

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Published inGrief

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