Grief at Christmas

I’m struggling this Christmas.

I want to make it magical for my kids–because my Christmases growing up were magical–but those memories make me sad. I can’t help but think back on Christmas Eves snuggled next to my mom and little brother reading The Polar Express. I remember the feeling of being awoken by Riley on Christmas morning, letting me know that Santa had come. Or both Riley and I being awoken by our dad (we were great sleepers). Of climbing excitedly into my parents’ bed and waiting while one of them went downstairs to start the coffee. As I think about how I can make my boys’ Christmas as exciting and wonder-filled, I can’t help but stumble, again and again, on the deep dark hole of my own loss.

My brother. My co-pilot on the journey of childhood.

Even tonight, I realized I was looking forward to spending time with my brother, the adult, and only then did I remember that I wouldn’t be seeing him. Not on Christmas, or anywhere else in my life on Earth. I try to tell myself that at least i know he is safe…but even knowing where he is doesn’t make my own grief feel any better. I feel loss so acutely. It’s like a hot ember I hold in my hand. I am shielding it from the world because it’s private, it’s mine; also because I don’t know who would understand, or who to talk to who isn’t tired of hearing about it. Even if I knew who to talk to, I don’t have any more words to say.

I’m just so sad.

That’s all that comes to mind, over and over.

So I sit here, drowning quietly in my grief, watching time pass so quickly with my kids, trying to give them a glimpse of an experience that is so out of reach for me now, for so many reasons.

This entry was posted in Addiction, brother, christmas and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Grief at Christmas

  1. mark massaro says:

    Korey, I am at a loss for words every time I hear you talk about Riley or I think about how you might be feeling. I will never get tired of listening to you vent, cry, or just talk about your feelings. All I can ever think to say is I’m so sorry and my heart pours out to you. I’m awake. If you want to talk, I’m here for you. My prayers are with you this Christmas season and always.

    Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

  2. Kim Ward says:

    This is so heart breaking Kor!! Dad and I feel the same way. So, you can always talk to us if you want to! We too are struggling with our ever present grief and our complete joy of spending Christmas with you and Josh and of course our wonderful, smart, loving, funny Grandsons!! It’s an internal battle. But we are trying our best to make it a wonderful day for you and the boys!! Because we love you so much!! It will be a great day!! We will make it so!! Love you more than you know!!

  3. Peg Moline says:

    It’s so easy to imagine that you are giving your boys exactly what you and Riley had together. And they have each other, too, don’t forget that. As strongly as you feel that grief, and as heartbreaking as it is for you, they will remember lovely and magical times with you and Josh. There is no question in my mind. And I know your mother and father will — and always will — be part of that amazing magic. Especially for them. Love you, Korey.

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