Grief Ripples at Christmas
It’s still there . . .this thing called grief. Over a year into my reality of being a widow - ripples of grief still hit. I imagine it like a thin rock skipping across the surface of water disrupting ever so slightly along the way.
At this point, I’ve hit many major milestones - holidays, anniversaries, birthdays - and now I am going through round 2. And without fail I still encounter disruptive moments. Sitting in a church meeting, my eyes tear up and I get a pit in my stomach hits as I realize this is the type of thing Josh and I did hundreds of times so casually. It was part of us doing life in ministry together for over a decade. Now that duet is missing.
The grief ripple hits again as I remember goofy things, inside jokes and whether or not he liked a certain restaurant.
As much as I keep trudging along creating new, fun memories that don’t include Josh - I still miss him.
I know it’s okay and that sorrow will linger - whatever I do. It doesn’t dominate my every thought but often the thought still flashes through my mind like a digital sign. I . . . miss . . . Josh.
It’s been a while since I even wrote about my grief feelings as I seemed to be almost at a loss of words of late. My last post was about receiving his ashes, which I still don't know what to do with and now they are kind of oddly placed mixed into my Christmas decor. How weird is that?
Even with that weirdness, this Christmas I do feel like celebrating. I have a big tree and lots of decorations up. I've been watching Christmas movies and leaning into the love, joy and cheer of the season. It's a big contrast to last year when I didn't even want to put up a tree - I felt like a robot. It was a true blue Christmas.
Today, my grief still takes a lot of time and energy. Ignoring it doesn’t make it go away. I find myself analyzing new angles of my emotions that still spike up and down and I find myself asking many questions
- What are these scattered emotions all about?
- What does my grief look like from a slightly different angle?
- What does it look like to mix in new people, places and perspectives?
I don't have answers, which is very annoying. So far I have only reaffirmed the fact that grief is complicated and really different for each person. I know God continues to work in me and through this story. I don't want to forget Josh and our life together but hope to use those experiences and memories for good in the future. How does that work? I am not sure but I'll keep trying.
I know God doesn't waste our experiences and I know my story is still unfolding. There is joy in that. Joy for more than just the Christmas season.
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Hi! It's Jenn Brown, writing my story that is now slightly different as we enter a season of new grief. On September 30, 2019, my dear husband Josh passed away after battling brain cancer.