This is a mushy time of year.
For those of us who’ve lost someone before their time–a sibling, child, parent, spouse–tears hover closer to the surface. So we give back more to balance the pain and ease that persistent ache. It’s how many of us manage the pain of that loss that is sharper during the holidays.
We are less likely to get caught up in shopping frenzies or black Fridays, focusing more on our loved ones, friends and neighbors. Life is not about stuff but more about connecting, remembering, finding hope and joy, grieving and managing hurt so it doesn’t consume us.
And I want to express my gratitude to all of you.
This blog and the tribe here has been critical to my healing. When the ache pushes me to the edges of myself, I write, then publish–and always wince. There is a tinge of regret for having shared my pain in public. But every time, you are there for me. And we are there for each other. (Love my tribe.)
Some of you are still struggling with a loved one who suffers.
We don’t want you in the grief club and hope your loved one finds recovery and thrives. I know you suffer, too, feel a different kind of grief because what you have now is not what you envisioned.
None of you want a loved one consumed by a behavioral disease. You, too, remember a time when times were more innocent and wonder what happened to that earlier self in the family photo who was so blissfully naive. Wasn’t that a nice cocoon to live in? We all would like a piece of that back.
Some of you bravely fight internal urges that you and your loved ones fear will end your life.
We want you to know you have our support and we don’t think you are weak but instead admire your courage and are grateful you’re still here. We want it to be better for you. We want it to be safer for you. It can be if you believe it will be.
To those who have submitted your stories.
I see how many people from all over the world read your words at a time when they feel isolated and alone. They connect with your stories and find hope and understanding that someone else has traveled the path you have and survived.
We save lives, offer hope, grieve, love, and most of all connect and support. What we do here means something.