It's hard to believe, but my mom has been gone for seven years now. You know what you never get asked after seven years? "How are you doing with the loss of your mom?". Granted, it's not something I wrestle with every day any longer. I go days at a time without thinking of her because I've been fortunate in life and have moved on with daily life, keeping myself occupied.
But there is always someone missing.
There's a reason people say the holidays are harder. All those traditions, family get togethers, growth (weddings and babies) seem to culminate in this feeling of family. Sometimes it's enough to make you feel full of life and happiness and other times it's just enough to make you feel entirely alone.
At 26, I still don't have any close friends who have experienced this loss yet. I hope they don't for a long time. There's no way to explain that sometimes feelings just hit you out of nowhere. A bride dances with her father on her wedding day, you see an advent calendar that looks just like the one your mom made when you were growing up, or you get just a hint of a smell (perhaps that dreaded wood furnace smell that reminds you of Saturday morning chores) and all of a sudden it comes rushing in. Like floodgates, that had been almost forgotten, open anew and drown you.
With my sister in Richmond, my dad with his wife in my mom's repainted house, my grandma passed away, and my grandpa getting shakier it just feels suffocating sometimes. I appreciate having Noah's family who are as inclusive as possible, but sometimes I still feel like an outsider there; I find myself wondering sometimes if that ever goes away. Perhaps when children are brought up and you truly create your own traditions?
If you've experienced a loss that you're feeling this season, I'm sorry. I hope you're doing well. Do what you can to bring that person close to your heart and don't be afraid to feel when you need to.