Winter has arrived in the East. We have been enjoying an Indian summer for the past few months, but that appears to be over.
My view from my bedroom sometimes makes me feel like I live in a treehouse. The view is beautiful in every season but winter. The trees in spring, summer and fall provide us privacy and offer us a lovely view. However, now that all of the leaves are gone, the view has changed, and it makes me sad to look at the trees without their leaves even though I know they will return in the spring. The view from my window in winter makes me feel exposed and vulnerable. It’s as if without the trees in their full bloom and glory that others can see into the pain, suffering and loneliness that has been going on inside my house since August 4.
These trees will still be restored to their beautiful state in the spring even if a few storms come along in the course of the winter and break some of their branches. Spring will not be as kind to me because in the spring when the leaves return, my Amy will still be gone.
Some people like the short dark days of winter with the holidays, the first snowfall, the long nights which offers more time to slow down the pace. It’s a time when some of us can put our pjs on early and relax and watch reality tv or go to bed for those long winter naps.
Winter has always depressed me. But this winter and the upcoming holidays seem suffocating to me as I spend more time in my home — without my daughter. And our family struggles with the fear of the upcoming holidays and how to deal with them because our family is no longer complete. We are missing our Amy.
We were a family of many traditions and now it’s too painful to even think about continuing any of these traditions. A term I have heard many times since I entered this horrible world of grieving is “new normal”, I have come to detest and resent those two words as well as all of the other non-comforting words like “just remember she is in a better place.” Not helping. There was nothing particularly wrong with my “old normal” and “there is no place like home” for our Amy who loved her home here.
All I ever wanted for the holidays each year was to spend it with my children. I always worried that some day a job or marriage may make that impossible, but it never occurred to me that death would take one of my children away from me and be the reason we weren’t together during the holidays.
Yes, Amy is spending the holidays in Heaven and that should comfort me but quite honestly it doesn’t because I am just an ordinary mother who misses her child and unless she can Skype and show me how blissfully happy she is, I will still worry and miss her.
Winter and the holidays — more “firsts” to deal with. I can only hope and pray that with the passage of time and once the holidays and winter are over, that my family can continue to take baby steps out of this nightmare and that some peace will be restored in our hearts and minds.
But for now, I am dreading the holidays and the dark cold winter season and our life without Amy. I know Amy will continue to send us signs, and for that we will continue to be grateful, but the reality is we still miss her so much and just want her back as she added so much to our lives and the holidays will never ever be the same without her.