Yesterday, Christmas, was so different from previous years that it was hard to associate the day with our past ones. We had vowed to always be home for Christmas. I couldn't do it this year. Instead, we spent the morning at home and then head to my sister's for a fabulous dinner with great food and wonderful company. With 19 people in one house, five of whom were two year olds, it would have been impossible to lament the differences between the years and their tradition that are now lost. But today, Boxing Day, is different. Day was better. Playing Operation in the morning with Liv. Visiting with my buddy, Heidi. Dinner with my sister and her family again....And then home to an empty house. Liv is staying with my mom for a few days and going to the ballet. Briar is home with me....But there is a silence. A gross, sickening silence that is making my stomach clench and dark sadness/loneliness/fear fill in all the spaces around my heart. I thought I had made it through Christmas relatively unscathed. A few tears. A few quiet moments of sad remembering. But nothing unbearable. It turns out that it was waiting for me. For the down time. The time when I am alone. The time when Jeff and I would have sat together to do a puzzle or watch a show or talk. There are other things that I could do to distract myself but I honestly don't have the energy. I want to lay across his chest twining my fingers in his beard staring into space and thinking while he watches some ridiculous or gratuitously violent show. Occasionally talk about some moment over the last few days that will stand out in our memories as the indicator of this year's festivities. Now it's only me. My memories.
I am so lost...still. It's been nine months yesterday. I found myself bending down to tidy up as I checked the clock briefly to assess the time. Nine months exactly. To the moment of when he left. The moment I last looked in his eyes. Pulled at his beard. Not with quiet thought or snuggling. With fear. Terror. Sadness. Today, I turn back to that moment and all that has changed since that tiny second and the doctor's words that changed it all. I want to somehow morph my life back to what it was. Even just one moment to have him back. To not be scared. Lonely. Exhausted with grief.
Life isn't as bleak as it was initially. Not as cavernously empty. But in moments like this one, his absence leaves a vacuum sucking any joy or comfort that I have managed to scrape out of the remainder of my existence and sends a dark yawning hole where he should be. I want him home. I want him back. I just want him.