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So it has been a while since my last post. I found that the only way to deal with the holidays was mostly through mindful denial, which included not blogging, journalling or reading a whole lot. Holidays were so hard. I got gifts for those closest to me and I did most of my shopping online, which was helpful. But ignoring all the decorations and the excitement of the holiday season in those around me was the most difficult. It was very low-key for my family this year, which seemed most appropriate.

Still, the office holiday parties and “what are your plans for the holidays?” chatter was hard to avoid. Thus, whenever possible, I stayed holed up at home. It has been more comfortable, more predictable to stay home as much as possible. I can control what I’m exposed to here in my own little hobbit-hole and there are less unexpected surprises and triggers. The hardest thing has been making it into the office at least for a little while each day. These past few weeks, getting out of bed, showered and clothed has been the most difficult part of the day. The snow on the ground mocks me just as much as the hot summer sunshine did 6 months ago and it still feels so fresh even though the world around me has changed so much.

My brain comprehends the differences in my life. It’s my heart that hasn’t caught up. It’s as if the only way to comprehend what it means for time to move on is to live it: to wake up in the morning and realize it’s another day, another week, another month. December 28 marked one year since my mother’s death. It was also the day, this year, that I signed the final divorce papers to file with the court. I am really fine with the divorce; Jason and I remain close. We are the two people on earth who knew Noah best. And I think Noah would love that we’re friendly and that we still care about each other. I am completely ok with the divorce itself…is it’s just the acknowledgement of another unsuccessful life endeavor that bothers me. So I stayed in my PJs all day cuddling with Zoe and crying off and on.

So now here is this new year. I feel like I’m bracing myself for it; well against it, really. My fear is that this endless dumping of tragedy might never end. Just living each day is painful enough…and I’m afraid of what another day might bring. In the first few weeks after we left the hospital, it felt like a dream. Like I would wake up in the morning to find Noah there wanting breakfast. Sometimes I would swear I saw him and for a split second my heart would leap like it wanted me to run and grab him and never let go. Now, almost 7 months later, it sometimes feels like the time I had with him WAS the dream. Which is not a feeling I could describe as better or worse, but the guilt that goes with it is so incredibly heavy.

I have to remind myself that grief comes in waves. That it gets more and less painful for various amounts of time. On Saturday, I got sick of being a hermit and took Zoe for a little post-holiday shopping and to the local arcade. Sunday, we met Amy for lunch then walked around the Plaza a little. I’m just so tired of being sad. I can’t help being sad, grieving, but it’s so exhausting. Sometimes I want to just put it aside. And sometimes I’m able to do that. But, for now at least, it’s difficult to do that sometimes. Especially when the tide comes in and brings that pain again.

P.S. Noah loved cars. And I mean this kid REALLY loved cars. Everywhere we went, you can bet he had at least one matchbox car clutched in his little hand. He had hundreds of them, too, and played with them daily. I still smile when I remember waking up every morning to the sound of him shuffling through them. So I decided that it might be a good idea to make ornaments out of them and send them to friends and family instead of the traditional holiday cards. In response, there were many people who sent photos of Noah’s cars hanging on their trees and trim…it was amazing! It feels good to know that something he loved and treasured so much can enjoy the holidays with everyone who knew / knows / loves him. That was the best gift I could have hoped to receive this year. So a big, heartfelt THANK YOU to those lovely souls!