Christmas While We Wait: Day Ten.

DAY TEN The humility of neediness. Months ago, a friend called and was feeling the weight of my pain. She went on to say that life was going mostly like she wanted, and how easy it would be to feel guilt over that. She instead concluded that the reason she can be strong for me…

Christmas While We Wait: Day Nine.

DAY NINE The pit of self. I walked into my house a couple months after Mom died, unintelligibly exasperated with life. Everything felt hard. Even the rudimentary task of deciding what to eat for dinner felt debilitating. I kicked one of my kids’ toys, causing me to lose my balance and whimper in pain on…

Christmas While We Wait: Day Eight.

DAY EIGHT The paralysis of regret and dread. Sometimes grief is feeling everything at the same time. The paralysis in loss is palpable. I want to ignore the fact that the holidays are coming, and I want to control every detail of the holidays to avoid surprise. I feel the misery of staying stuck and…

Christmas While We Wait: Day Seven.

DAY SEVEN Am I making this harder than it needs to be? For months straight, our closet lightbulb was burned out. We live in an old house, and removing the globes on our ancient fixtures felt like an undertaking. As annoying as it was to navigate our closet in the dark, my husband and I…

Christmas While We Wait: Day Six.

DAY SIX The new thing. I remember another mother giving advice about how to manage the day-to-day circus of restless kids. She advised that when children become restless, it’s helpful to change rooms in the house. Something so practical became a profound staple in my parenting toolbox. I wonder if we’re feeling restless as we…

Christmas While We Wait: Day Five.

DAY FIVE When grief sounds like envy. Seeing a mom and daughter together can thrust me into the blur of what should have been. The holiday season is replete with reminders. The complicated pangs of grief too easily twist themselves into envy and bitterness. Why do they get that life, and why do I not?…

Christmas While We Wait: Day Four.

DAY FOUR Progress is Messy. We have been doing a laundry list of home improvement projects, and the mess of remodeling has persisted for months. I find the chaos of house projects unnerving and some days, I’m on the brink of quiet implosion. Stuff everywhere. Dust everywhere. Tools everywhere. Why can’t I get perspective? Progress—we…

Christmas While We Wait: Day Three.

DAY THREE The Chip on My Shoulder. Two days after Mom died, I walked aimlessly around Costco, dizzy with shock. Whose life is this? I found myself in the refrigerated produce section lost in a fog, blocking traffic. You’re supposed to go the other way, another customer instructed. I mumbled an apology. Can’t you see…

Christmas While We Wait: Day Two.

DAY TWO Can I skip this year? It was an early snow this first year without Mom. She loved the change of seasons. Once the snow hit the ground, its pristine white took on a golden hue because of the pigmented Fall leaves still covering the ground beneath. –As if Fall was saying, I’m not…