It’s the most wonderful time of the year 

Jacob, Abby, Phoebe, Ray, Ani, Ellie Sheva

Is it? November and December have long since been my favorite months. I loved hosting Thanksgiving. I rarely got stressed with a full house and cooking my turkey and stuffing. Something magical happens around 11:30 AM, when the smell consumes the house. I even found time to run downtown to catch Jacob finish the “Turkey Trot.” Thanksgiving brought me warmth as I watched Jacob and Ana play with their Milwaukee kin.  

Christmas and Hannukah never came too early. I remember going to a movie one Thanksgiving night with Drew, after a day of eating turkey. As we left the mall theatre, a “buzz” encompassed us. I had never been to a Black Friday event, so seeing people racing around a mall at midnight was foreign. Times were good and I felt I was in line with appropriate gratitude.  

Molly, Jacob, Kendie

Halloween came and went this year. We didn’t buy a pumpkin. It didn’t even cross my mind. Tuesday, we head to Florida to “attend” Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving dinner will be at a restaurant. This will be my first Thanksgiving since my best friend, Ben, and I ate together at a hotel in Portland, Oregon, in the 1990’s. We arrive the night before, as does Ana, from Chicago. 

We are staying in Florida for a month. We will be working, sans a couple of vacation days to explore Disney. Everything is different. This is our second Thanksgiving without Jacob. And, yes, I concede he will be there with us. His ubiquitous presence is comforting but I would lie if I stated comfort in this today. I can’t hug a “ubiquitous presence” and it’s killing me internally.  

The only place that brings me ANY comfort is the cemetery. This irony is not lost on me. Having the propinquity of Jacob’s physical body is paramount. I cannot explain it. I suppose part of me wants to know that, if needed, I could unearth him and hug him. Spending the next month away from him is somewhat scary, especially with Thanksgiving being one of his favorite holidays. 

Mac and Jacob

I started this blog yesterday. Work and emotions have delayed the finish. My sadness has manifested in anger and sudden weeping outbursts lately. Yesterday, I was working out with my friend and PT, and I lost my shit. It was a visceral rection of tears to a seemingly easy question. I feel as if I am spinning out of control. I either yell, cry, or isolate.  

With the exception of the obvious, what is causing this? The answer isn’t simple. A combination of fatigue, anxiety, sadness, food addiction, grief, the elections and state of this country, and seasonal change have come together in a perfect stew of irrational outbursts. To add more to my inability to properly handle the pressure of anger and sadness, my badass friend, Jackie, is rewarded for a life well-lived, with flu-like symptoms as she processes her next chapter.  Manifestations of anger outbursts are not helping me. talk a lot about sustainability and this isn’t it.  

We use an acronym in the 12 steps called HALT. Hungry. Angry. Lonely. Tired. The idea is that if I am feeling one or more of these, I am more likely to act in a self-destructive way. Lately, I have slipped into all of these. While I am not hungry in the typical sense, I am hungry for healthy, vitamin dense nutrition. My anger speaks for itself. I feel lonelier more than ever. For the first time, in a long time, I can feel lonely in a crowded. The only thing I somewhat like doing is sitting in front of the tele with Naomi, even if I am watching something different. I have been in a constant state of fatigue due to weather changes, light changes, grief, and a litany of other reasons, aforementioned.  

Most of my blogs take 1-2 hours of writing and 0 minutes of edit. I am now on day three of writing. I was asked yesterday if I am happy to go to the sunshine for a month. The simple answer is “no.” I am beyond happy to see my nieces and in-laws. Leaving Jacob is killing me. I know he is “with us” and where I am, “so is he.” Intellectually, I somewhat understand this concept of another dimension of life. I am in personal turmoil over leaving his physical presence, even for 30 days. I understand how irrational the concept. Losing a child lacks rational thought as well. I feel closer to him at Lakeview Cemetery, than anywhere else. I am exactly 6 feet away in distance.  

So, where do I go from here? Again, this is a fight between the intellectual principles and meaningful practice of self-love. I forgive everyone else but myself. Today, I will look at my basic needs: 

  • Sleep 
  • Hydration 
  • Exercise 
  • Eating 
  • Meditation 
  • Communication 

Today, I need to HALT and manage these needs. I miss you, Jacob. Happy Thanksgiving sweet prince. 

Final Requests: If you can, please visit Jacob. Last request, if you know people who are struggling with a loss around the holidays, please reach out. A text, call, card, coffee, and/or any other small gesture, is not lost on those who grieve.

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