I was looking forward to seeing some old friends as I drove into my old home town. It had been a long time. As I hit the city limits, passing old landmarks, I realized that I had never been here without Lynn. We met in this town. We fell in love in this town. We were married and spent a number of very happy years in this town. I really had not been thinking much about this, trying to focus on a nice holiday visit with good friends. I was overwhelmed with memories and emotions, almost unbearably. I had to detour a bit to avoid driving by the little old house that Lynn and I rented for years. I was completely caught off guard by all this. I found some comfort at my friend’s house and enjoyed catching up over beers until late into the night. Then I wake at 3 am with a full blown panic attack. WTF! I felt completely alone and helpless. I survived.
The holidays are challenging for me to say the least. Holidays were always about family together time, many times just the two of us. The holidays last year were only a couple of months after Lynn passed away. I think I was still in shock and horrible grief last year, kind of numbly drifting through the days. This year the holidays and the loss were more apparent to me, but in a different way. I was reminded that my holidays will forever be without my Lynn. I normally think about her every hour of every day. The holidays just brought the emptiness to the front. I’m able to have OK days often, when last year I had none. So, I guess the contrast of good and bad days is more striking to me. I’m able to think about my emotions a little more clearly and sometimes dwell on my feelings too much. It’s funny to think that the holidays were easier a year ago because I was so overcome with grief at that time, everything was painful. I didn’t think I would ever feel good again. The “new normal” of being alone and occasionally having a good day isn’t comforting. It’s just the way it is. I know I am slowly getting better at dealing with life without Lynn. There’s just so much that I miss. Not quite as desperate as Kris Kristofferson in Me and Bobby McGee, but close:
“I’d trade all of my tomorrows, for a single yesterday.
To be holdin’ Bobby’s body next to mine.”