My husband asked me if it helped having people over for the 4th of July and going to fireworks. For most, that would seem an odd question, for us, it’s perfectly natural.
I told him I liked having the physical and emotional support of my family and friends on the day Nick was diagnosed. That is what we did 8 years ago. Everyone dropped everything and came to our house, hugged, ate, cried and as one unit walked to watch the fireworks.
It’s upsetting because this day was a happy family gathering holiday and although I don’t have to make it dark, I can’t help the feelings of sadness that encroach on me as this day arrives.
A good friend of mine texted me with her pain because I understand how these dates have the power to derail us and throw the day and months into a tailspin of grief. Mine starts July 4 and ends October 26 and then I get a breather until the holidays.
I’m gonna try and do what she is doing–use this time to fuel my journey, not derail it. That involves having my loved ones surrounding me. Spending quiet time with Nick, spending quality time with Stephen and Luke.
On those days that bring back the tough memories, this is what I do:
Spend time with Nick. This may involve writing to him in my journal, going to yoga and sending love to him as my intention, or going to his place and talk to him.
Spend time with those who enrich my life and get that I might not be cheerful or talkative, but need them here.
And as I do every single evening, say goodnight to my boys and send them my love.