Dec 03

The Grief Calendar

December 3, 2016

It has been two years since I published the thoughts that follow. The anniversaries still come, the memories still bring a smile or a tear, the calendar continues to be a reminder of what once was, but it is also a tool to help plan what is to come. There have now been more milestones since Don died than we actually shared together. More birthdays, Thanksgivings, Easters, and soon Christmases will be celebrated since his passing.

As I look forward to more birthdays, weddings, graduations and celebrations of all kinds it is good to also look back and remember what once could have been, and thank God for what there still is. There is still love, kindness, forgiveness, family, friends, and hope! Hope for a future that contains joy, love, happiness, and family.

As we all look towards Christmas this year during Advent let us not forget that for some this will be the first Christmas without someone near and dear. So please pick up the phone, send them a note, or just visit the person who is missing someone for the first time this Christmas.



December 3, 2014

I seem to have a different relationship with the calendar since my world came to an end six months ago. The painful passing of time being marked in increments of greater and greater length. First it was hours, then days, weeks, now months. Each leap meaning I am continuing to live and go forward.

Going forward also means sometimes looking ahead, which is not the same as it used to be. Looking ahead to the next meaningful date on the calendar means mixed emotions at best, or with fear and dread of the survivability of the date most often. First it was the blur of days before his funeral, then his memorial service in our hometown, and now all of the little, but oh so meaningful, anniversaries from our way too short life together. The first time we met, the first e-mail, the first card, the first letter, the first concert together.

That first time we hugged and felt the spark of desire. The first look into his eyes knowing that I would never be the same again after sinking into the deep blue pools of love that they held. The first time my lips accidentally brushed his cheek as we embraced to say goodnight. The first kiss. The first time he said “I love you” and the first time I replied. The first time we danced and the delight in his eyes while we clumsily made our way around the room.DSCN7188 (640x434)

Little anniversaries that we celebrated in small but meaningful ways, flowers, cards, a special dinner at home or a night out to hear some music. We both kept a dated journal to remember special days. There would be notes tucked into books to surprise each other, or sometimes a special sweet treat from the freezer or the oven.

I have also “survived” the big dates on the calendar; Our wedding anniversary, Thanksgiving, his birthday and my own. There are special dates in the Church Calendar that have great meaning to us as well. All Saints Day was a date not just to remember that he has gone on to join the Great Communion of Saints but it had special meaning to the two of us before this year as well. We had both suffered losses in our lives and it was through loss and through our faith that part of our connection was built. One of the early things Don did for me in our friendship was to go up in my place and bring home the rose offered in our local church for my Mother when I couldn’t be there that day due to obligations at school.

This week we have had the First Sunday in Advent and World Aids Day. A year ago those two dates coincided with Communion Sunday and I had the privilege of helping to serve communion to  Don for what I thought would be the first time. It was the only time I offered the elements to my husband and I am eternally grateful that I had that chance.

There are more dates to come as I look at the calendar and sometimes I am not sure if I can endure the memories and other times I know that without the memories I could not endure.

In this season of preparing for Christ, in this season of Advent, I will prepare my heart for the pain it must go through and I will prepare my heart for the JOY of Christ, because in  ‘All My Days’  I know that Christ is with me, just as I know Don is with me always.

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    • Debbie on December 3, 2014 at 6:36 pm
    • Reply

    Beautiful Christine!

    • miranda rand on December 3, 2014 at 9:46 pm
    • Reply

    Thinking of you! You express yourself so beautifully.

    • Frank M. D'Ambrosio on December 4, 2014 at 12:18 am
    • Reply

    Very poignant reading, my friend. I offer to you in love the observation that many people known to both of us are feeling your loss along with their own at this time. I could name names, but that would not be appropriate. I submit to you that our memories, painful though they may be, are what sustain us. Daily I thank God that I had Evalyn and the life we shared. Sure, come January 7 I shall go absolutely out of my mind-it would have been our 48th anniversary! But I can’t think like that. Beyond this, there are no words; I only can offer you my prayers and love during this holy season and into the new year.

  1. Dear Debbie, Miranda, and Frank,
    It means so much to me to hear your approval and affirmations when I know that you three especially know on a personal level what loss is like. We may all grieve in our own way and in our own time but your fellowship sustains me in ways I never knew before.
    Love to all

  2. I am continually searching online for tips that can aid
    me. Thank you!

  3. Way to reminisce…

    1. Thanks for reading Rashad!

    • Carol R Jackson on December 3, 2016 at 10:35 pm
    • Reply

    As meaningful today as it was two years ago. Thanks for sharing again, along with your introductory comments. Advent and Christmas blessings to you, my friend.

    1. Thank you Kitt! Merry Christmas !

    • Vonnie on December 3, 2016 at 11:05 pm
    • Reply

    Precious words Christine:).

    1. <3 Vonnie

    • Donna Titus on December 4, 2016 at 6:20 am
    • Reply

    beautiful. You have a wonderful way with words

    1. Thank you Donna, I appreciate the high praise as it comes from you. Blessings to you and yours.

  4. The bittersweetness of love, loss, and living. God’s peace to you, my friend.

    1. Thank you Martha. You are a wonderful friend and a blessing to me.

    • Rajadhas Rajamony on December 5, 2016 at 11:35 am
    • Reply

    The calender is a reminder of our happy, sorrowful and painful days. I pray that you have more happy days in future. Forget the unhappy and painful days. Be happy my friend

    1. Rajadhasmy friend I will always remember. The difference is as time goes on I can remember with a smile instead of a tear. Thank you for your prayers.

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