I thought after a few years this would get easier. By “this” I mean the Holidays. My brother’s favorite holiday was Christmas, at least until he got cancer and became unable to provide for his family. His friends, family and community made sure he and his never went hungry, the utilities never got shut off, the oil barrel was full and his kids had more for Christmas than most. He struggled with acceptance. He needed to be the one providing these things to his family, but couldn’t. He dreaded Christmas the last few years we had the joy of him being in our lives. Then he and his 15 year old son died 7 days apart.
My mother then had to pick up the torch of “dreading” Christmas and all the terrible and wonderful memories tied to our Christmases past. As the Head Deacon of her church it was difficult for her to stay upbeat while planning the church activities of the season. When she sang at services, her Joy (her middle name was Joy, after all) was infectious. She stayed busy with fund raisers, community events, singing groups, hospice volunteer, the “chaplain” when our minister was on the mainland and couldn’t be here. Now that she is gone, can I shake the “dread”?