I wrote this last week, on December 14th (hence the title), and read it at an annual event The Elizabeth Hospice puts together called Light Up A Life. We were so honored to have been asked to speak at Light Up A Life, and to share a little bit more about Branch. I could sing The Elizabeth Hospice’s praises for hours on end … truly. I can not imagine better people exist in the world than the people who work with The Elizabeth Hospice.
I decided to post this piece today, Christmas Eve, because it sums up how we feel this week, too. Christmas is a tender time. All holidays are, really, but Christmas has always been my favorite holiday, which makes it particularly bittersweet now. I have had to work hard at reminding myself of God’s love for me, of how He sees me, that He knows me, and how He welcomes my sorrow with open arms.
I hope you enjoy this little writing. Merry Christmas, friends. xoxo
I feel sad.
I have felt sad every day in 2014.
Every night — every single night — as the lights turn out, I turn to Glenn and tell him how much I miss our baby. Every night — every single night — he squeezes me tight and tells me that he knows. Because he misses our boy every day, too.
As many of you know, Branch died on December 10th, 2013. Just over a year ago. Now that his first birthday and the first anniversary of his death are over, part of me feels victorious. We did it. We are alive. We got out of bed, at least for a few moments, every day for the past 365 days. We still laugh a lot. Even now.
Today, though, most of me feels sad.
2014 has been really hard.
Wouldn’t it be great if I could tell you that now, a year later, things are just hunky-dory and we are totally fine, we don’t have a care in the world, and we never have trouble relating to anyone and yes, even though I buried my son, I am definitely making every meal at home and working out constantly.
The truth is that, a year after death, I find comfort in the Jack in the Box drive-through. I go on walks, and sometimes I run. I feel lonely all the time. I am just barely beginning to breathe again.
And I guess, in some ways, that is comforting. Because we ARE doing it. We ARE breathing again. We are taking it slow. We are welcoming the pain, the loneliness, the sorrow, and the joy.
We grieve because we love. And my love for Branch, which is the one thing that is so sacred it is impossible to describe, will never die.
May you feel that kind of love today.