This time of the year is extremely difficult when a loved one has died. Somehow it doesn’t matter if it was a year since their passing or a decade.  We miss the traditions we created, the joy of being together,  the love we shared.

If you have close family it helps, somewhat.

For those of us who don’t… we’re going it alone.  Before Jack died I use to fear being alone over the holidays or really just being alone at all.  As time as passed though I’ve realized the fear was worse than the reality.   Yes, the pain in unbearable at times, but I’m better at riding the waves of sorrow than I was a year ago.

My life goes on…  Most of the relationships I had when Jack was alive have ended or changed substantively.  These days I’d rather be alone than deal someone who treats me like an obligation they need to check off their list.

What I appreciate is talking with good friends and my niece all of whom I can laugh and cry with and who I know they truly care.   I enjoy hearing from old friends who just want to stay in touch despite the miles and years between us.   And I am grateful for my new friends who didn’t know me when Jack was alive and just know the person I am now.

I’m doing better now that I was last year over the holidays.  Time changes us though the pain of loss remains.  We realize we’re better off alone than with those who treat us like a burden.  It may be another hard lesson about life after their death but we know how important it is to our own peace of mind to do what makes us feel good about ourselves.

This Thanksgiving celebrate your own strength and resilience.  Be grateful for the people who choose to be in your life.  And give thanks for knowing what truly matters to you.

With love, Cheryl


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