December is a month that holds a myriad of emotions for me, and for many, I imagine.  We all hope to spend time with our friends, families, and hopefully we have some time left for ourselves.  Some of us like our families, some don’t.  Some are lonely, some are not.

I am very thankful for much right now.  I am thankful for my Mom and her holiday cheer. No one decorates like her, or brings light into a room as she does.  I am thankful for my Aunt and Uncle, who are like second parents to me.  I am thankful for my friends, the little unpaid time off I receive.  I am thankful for my dog and my cat, whom I love dearly.  I am thankful for my husband, and my new family.

December has been a rough month for the past ten years.  My youngest brother took his own life ten years ago.  His birthday is December 26.  Hence, when December rolls around, I grapple with the deafening silence that rings loudly in his absence.  Some years I felt that if I experienced any joy during December that I was an awful sister, that I was somehow not honoring my brother’s memory with due respect.  I know now that this is not a healthy way to think, nor is it a healthy way to cope with my little brother’s absence.  A couple of days ago a drove by a chain electronics store (he used to work for that particular company), and I swear I saw him walking out of the store.  I slammed on the brakes of my car, and just stared at the young man who walked by–desperately hoping that that really was My brother.  Was my mind playing tricks on me, was that my brother’s doppelgänger?  Yes, I knew he would reappear, I thought to myself.  Yes. I started crying, uncontrollably.  Of course that’s not him……I’m silly……Why can’t he come back to life?  Please……..I miss him.  I miss him.

My brother would have been 31 this month.  I wonder what he would have looked like as a 31-year-old.  What would he be like?  Would we have grown any closer?  I know we would have.  He adored me and always wanted to be around me.  I, being 9 years older than he, was not always thrilled by his shadow.  If he were alive now, I would welcome his presence any time.  I would be the best sister ever!  I miss him.  God, I miss him.  If I were a superhero, I would want my power to be that I could bring back those I have lost to death back to life.  Losing loved ones never, never gets easier.  It is something we all learn to navigate.  But, the pain paralyzes me sometimes.

I have been married less than a year, and my husband’s birthday is in December.  Being able to celebrate my husband’s birthday and life during December has brought a sparkle back to December.  I can celebrate again.  It’s ok to.  It doesn’t take away the fact that I wish my brother was here, or that I wish my husband had the chance to meet him, to get to know him, to become friends with him, to love him——but it helps.  It helps.

To everyone–I wish you a loving December.  If you are alone, I wish you happiness, peace, and self discovery.  If you aren’t alone, but feel it, I wish you warm hugs, and conversations and situations that help you to feel togetherness with your loved ones.  If you are in pain, I send you warm hugs, patience, and self-love.  I hope your pain subsides soon.  If you are happy and full of joy, Rejoice, and enjoy it to its fullest.  Here’s to mourning, yearning, missing, celebrating, laughing, roaring in joyous times, creating new memories, appreciating the old ones, and to constant growth as human beings.  Cheers.

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