We were standing in church, singing The First Noel, when I instinctively reached up and held the Ethiopian cross necklace resting against my chest. With no warning, my eyes filled with tears and my throat got tight.
I was wearing Kalkidan’s cross, the one that we bought for her in Addis, the one she wore sometimes when she dressed up. She wore it for the last time at the funeral home.
As Christmas approaches, we are continually bumping into reminders and memories.
My sisters and I make a photo calendar for our parents each year. Yesterday, as I uploaded photos, it was painful to see that I have no pictures of Kalkidan from 2015. The last picture I took of her was Christmas Eve. We had such a wonderful Christmas, but for some reason, we didn’t take a single picture. I remember feeling that I just wanted to be in the moments, not trying to record them.
As I sat at my desk, I was hit by a wave of sadness, or some sort of bad feeling. I was all by myself, but I started quietly saying, “I don’t feel okay, I don’t feel okay,” like a prayer. I pressed my hands against my chest, trying to make it go away.
In the afternoon, Beza put Christmas cards in envelopes. Kalkidan isn’t in the picture – her absence is huge. I know this doesn’t make sense, but mailing out a new family picture feels like a betrayal of her. It’s like evidence that we’ve moved on and left her behind. There is a weight of guilt in my stomach, not in my mind, I know that sending out a new picture is a good thing to do, but it doesn’t feel good.
This is a sad post, but it’s all I’ve got today. Grief is always with us, sometimes simmering low, and other times flaming up. Today it is at a low boil.
In good news, it’s Monday and we have an entire new week to walk through, preparing for Christmas, loving our families, accomplishing work. I made my To-Do list early this morning, it looks semi-reasonable, but only because I’m accepting that I won’t be able to accomplish all that I would like.
How does your week look? Anything good to look forward to? Anything you’re dreading?
I have a massage at PT in a few hours. Last time she worked on my shoulder, I was nearly pain-free for a week. Now that’s something to look forward to.
Love to all of you.