In many homes tonight the fridge is full of leftovers stored with Tetris level genius. Bellies are swollen from a weekend of gluttony; and hearts are quenched with love of family and friends. The glow of thankfulness hasn’t set with the sun.
Though in some homes their grateful heart has felt tethered and weighted. The anticipation for a time to give thanks was abruptly halted as they were swallowed into the familiar spiral of loss.
They comprehend that not only has every Thanksgiving celebration been cast in the darkest of shadows; now Christmas, birthdays, and summer holidays have been profoundly altered for other families. All the memories made, and yet to be, will now be tainted with an un-fillable chasm.
Their nights are restless as they think of each parent and family member who relives an unfathomable loss every time they awaken. Knowing that sleep brings such peace, and yet the thought of having to wake up to reality sometimes makes slumber impossible. That denial or numbing are sometimes the only things that you can do to endure.
Knowing intimately that each new day witnessing the world carry on is heartbreaking . That your world ended, and yet the sun still rises and the days continue to pass. Those around you move forward, but you are stuck, unmovable from that fragmenting moment.
They are reminded of how fresh grief steals your breath away. That in an instant the ache and pain can swallow you, and in the next you are floating outside of yourself as if it’s all a dream. Nothing is predictable anymore.
They are filled with sorrow as they know that other mothers and fathers have joined in to the most lamentable club. The one that new members are not wanted and invitations never sought.
Our arms are open, you are welcome none the less. We require nothing from you; not even an acknowledgment that we exist. We serve to share your loss, and let you sit in your darkness. There is no rush. No need to see the bigger picture. We will listen as you share about the wonder of your child, and hold your hand when you cannot speak. We will acknowledge that there is no road map for grief; but we do know that it will be with you forever.
Our wish is that we can bring you hope; but you are not obliged to be thankful. Not even today.