The most wonderful time of the year?

Holidays are hard.  So hard.  Thanksgiving makes me want to vomit.  Christmas is so bittersweet. The time in between is gruesome.  I still suffer from the effects of PTSD related to her death.  The sound of sirens still evokes nausea. Every Thanksgiving I experience flashbacks to the empty chair at the restaurant table.  They seated us at a table with an extra spot, for her carrier. Empty.  An adjective meaning containing nothing; not filled or occupied.  There will always be an empty spot. An empty space in the car for her, and empty stocking on the mantle, an empty place for the gifts Santa won’t bring, and a void in every family picture.  No matter how full my heart is with the love and laughter of my living children, family and friends, part of me will always be empty.  Part me died that day, and a hole is left where it should be. A space that no amount of joy can fill.  No my friends, this is NOT the most wonderful time of the year.  It is the most difficult, most bittersweet time of the year.  Family, gifts, love, laughter, carols, giving, receiving.  These things are wonderful.  I will NEVER take any of these things for granted.  But they cannot fill this hole.  It will remain unoccupied until I hold her again. Related image