“The absence of a loved one is noted and highlighted by what is supposed to be a time of celebration”

Missing someone is an eternal struggle, one that gets easier, but will never fully subside. I find that the heartache and the missing are harder to deal with some days versus others. This week, for numerous reasons, has been harder than I would have thought.

Tomorrow is my 20th Birthday. Tomorrow I will no longer be a teen but otherwise, as far as age goes it is a pretty insignificant milestone. However, this is my first birthday that my Dad won’t play a role in making my day special.

It is odd to me that Holidays and milestones have now turned into, “the first (insert event) since Dad has passed”. How amazing is it that we have the ability to love someone so much that their death has this effect? I find myself thinking about all the ways my Dad made these holidays and milestones special for so many people. After going away to school in Iowa, while he was left in Connecticut, we would talk of my future birthdays and what we would do when we would be together again for them. My favorite plan that we ever came up with was him coming to visit for my 21st birthday and him getting to see where I went to school and the bars I always told him about that he hadn’t gotten to see.

As far as holidays go, when we were younger my Dad was a staple. He ran the kitchen on Thanksgiving and Christmas, putting together incredible meals for a very large family. He would kick anyone out of the kitchen who wasn’t doing things the way he wanted them done, he was stubborn and very territorial that way. Regardless, he was a huge reason why holidays brought so much meaning to us.

The point being that in every family each person has a role, an irreplaceable part. Each part no more important than the other, but different. After loss, there is an absence, an emptiness, felt. In many cases, from what I’m beginning to realize, this absence is felt more intensely during the holiday season because that is a time meant to be spent and celebrated with family. What a testimony it is to the lives of those passed that their presence at this time is missed so greatly. How lucky are we to have people to miss this much, because we loved them so much.

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