Notes from beneath the ton


"Watch out for the holidays," they said. "They can be really hard," they said.

So I battened down the proverbial hatches. I hunkered down to weather the storm. I had boxes of Kleenex on every available surface. I had escape routes mapped out from every room should I need to go cry in private.

So when Thanksgiving dawned, I was ready. I was prepared. But no tsunami came. There I was, in our beautiful home, surrounded by the people I love most, eating delicious food we had made together. And of course Dad's absence was keenly felt. Sure, I had to dab away a few tears when the hubby read Dad's Thanksgiving blessing, but no big deal. We had a wonderful day together, sharing memories of Dad and making new ones.

"Welp," I thought to myself that night, mentally dusting off my hands, "I did it! I got through my first holiday without Dad. Maybe this grief thing won't be so hard after all!"

Notes to self:

1. They're called "the holidays." Plural. As in more than one day.

2. Pride, as they say, goeth before a fall.

Fast forward to today, in which I think I have spent more time crying than not. Nothing in particular happened; there was no catalyst for the deluge. But when I mentioned my inexplicable sadness to a colleague (who recently lost her mom), she said something that really made sense: "I think your body and your mind gear up for the big events you’re worried about (like Thanksgiving or the funeral), and when you relax afterward, the ton of bricks falls."

So. If anyone needs me, I'll be digging my way out from underneath this ton.

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