Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving / Six Months

The sunlight shocked open my eyelids and pushed me to face the morning. Seven AM wasn't my friend. Perhaps because Four AM and I had grown to know each other so intimately. Four AM was comforting to me in all of his dark and quiet anxiousness. In that time of night, the silent hum of unspoken fears wrapped around me, curious and complicated, moody, but mine. But Seven, she and I had become strangers. Her pesky perkiness was too draining to even acknowledge. "Leave me alone!" I begged, trying to reclaim the darkness of shut eyelids. "Find someone else to force your rise and shine upon. I'm not interested."

But this morning was different. The light had a mission and Seven was unrelenting. As my consciousness took over, snapped into alert, I remembered the significance of this particular dawn. Not only was it Thanksgiving, but also the six month mark of Blake's death. The weight of that realization tugged at my heart, causing me to collapse into the sunlight and embrace my old friend Seven. Today would be too lonely if I isolated myself. "Ok Seven, you win."

These two events coinciding didn't feel like a coincidence. The universe had transpired to lay out this juxtaposition so clearly that it would be impossible to ignore. The national day of thanks and the day that marks half a year without My Love. One with a theme of gratitude, the other: grief. I started asking myself, "How can I respect both feelings without falling too deeply into one or the other? How can mixing the two create a more meaningful day?"

The answer was actually simple: focus on love. The absence of it, the presence of it, the yearning for it, and the hope that it still exists. Love in all of its forms. Love that can be seen and love that can only be felt. Love was both my greatest gift and the deepest hole in my heart. Today, I would focus on love.

My annoying but inspiring friend Seven AM helped me realize that this Thanksgiving, I'm not actually balancing opposite emotions.  On the surface that's what grief and gratitude seem to be, but in actuality, that couldn't be farther from the truth. Because the foundations of both are the exact same thing: love. It's easy to trace gratitude back love, but I had to stretch my mind to come to the conclusion that grief couldn't exist without love either. Love makes gratitude and grief intrinsically linked. The separation of the two only came from my refusal to wake up.

Now, I'm wide awake with my friend Nine AM. He has all the analytical insight of Four, but with the blissful optimism of Seven. At this time of morning, the light is shining bright, but it no longer has to battle against the harsh contrast of nighttime. The sun is welcome to disrupt my sleep because now I want to be awake, enjoying every minute of this day. A day that reminds me of both the past and the present, but more importantly, the love that weaves the two together.

Today, I'm coming from a place of Nine.


  1. I wanted to tell you this on Thanksgiving, maybe I did, but it was the first Thanksgiving Dane got to spend with his dad since he passed 4 years ago on the same date TG fell on this year, Nov 28th. I thought all day, dang I was so selfish! I should have comforted him more through these holidays, I should have talked to him more. Back then, before I experienced such a tremendous loss, I didnt know how to relate to him. I didnt mention it, I let him grieve alone. I wanted him to come to me when he was ready and year after year I waited until it was too late. I feel like in a way he taught me to open up about loss, ask questions, ultimately to find you because he knew Id need you. Love was the focus of my day as well after I snapped back into "reality". Ive felt those sunrises after little to no sleep. They really hit hard. Once it transitions from dawn to daylight I can finally get up. Maybe. I Love you to the moon and sorry this was such an unrelated comment but you got me going! You have a gift lady!

    1. Wow, thank you Lauren! I am so glad you thought of it that way. I didn't even think about the fact that this was the first Thanksgiving Blake got to spend with his grandpa who he looked up to and loved so much. What a great way to see it :)

      I believe a person has NO IDEA what a loss feels like until they experience one of their own. I'm sure you comforted Dane in the best way you knew how to, but you had no idea what he needed because you didn't understand loss back then. The wonderful gift you and I have both been given is that we are so in tune with grief and how it may affect people. From now on, we will have a powerful empathy for anyone going through a loss. Although we never knew how to comfort people before, we will be such good friends to everyone in our lives who lose people. There already so much proof in how we've been able to help each other :)

  2. OH YES!!!!! And Danes dad was a TRIP! Please know he had the best Thanksgiving in Heaven with them. I know they all had a blast. Maybe thats what shifted our focus.. they started watching us all as they sat together ( B, Dane and Mr Mike) and were so tired of us not thankful that they were in the most magical place we cant understand.. they sent those vibes to cheer us up lol

    1. I just love thinking about Dane and Blake being together. It's such a happy image to have in my head. It's definitely not a coincidence that you found my blog :)