A Friends and Family Post
Thursday is American Thanksgiving and the kickoff to the holiday season. It’s also a time that has the potential to be extra painful to the bereaved. I’ve written a bunch on this, so consider this a gentle reminder and request: please, say their names.
If you’ve been following along, you know I opted out of the holidays those first few years. Last year I celebrated my first Thanksgiving and Christmas since D died. It was rough and sweet and nutty and wonderful; my holidays with the family carton of rocky road ice cream.
The Sound of Silence
It was also nervewracking, and I almost bailed. Over pumpkin pie and too much wine, I finally figured out why I was so uncomfortable. Not a single person mentioned D the entire evening. No one, not even me. It was a giant void, despite the memories that filled the night. The D-shaped silence was deafening. Hilarious, since D was always the loudest person in any room. Sad, because this was a room full of his family. (He may have been born a Bain, but he died an Ikeda).
We Haven’t Forgotten
I know, sometimes it’s hard to be sure whether it’s okay to bring up our dead husbands. Here’s the deal: we never forget they are gone, even when we embrace our new lives. Your mentioning them doesn’t remind us of that. It does assure us that you loved them, too.
And we want you to know how much it means to us that you did. So share the funny stories, the memories, and the fact you wish they were there. Don’t fear potential tears, you may be surprised with laughter.
This year I’m cooking and hosting Friendsgiving. It’s my first Thanksgiving in this house, the first turkey I’ve roasted in a few years, and my first Thanksgiving without my family. So why not start a new tradition?
As my fellow solos arrive for dinner, there will be an empty seat at the table. Each guest is invited to bring a small memento, photo, or name paper, of those we wish were joining us. And, in this house, stories and memories will always be welcomed.
The Wandering Widow
Live Now. Dream Big. Love Fierce.