When we knew that Anna's life was coming to an end, there were several conversations between family members and I about what life would be like without her and how we would go on. One conversation in particular stuck out to me because it was something that had not crossed my mind before.
While eating lunch with my uncle, we were discussing Anna's impending death and how unfair it seems.
"Nothing will ever be the same," he pointed out. He went on to talk about our annual family reunion, her birthday, and every holiday after she passes away and how they would never be the same.
Today, on the first holiday we have experienced since Anna passed away, I realize how true those words are. Nothing will ever be the same. And today? It wasn't the same. My heart broke for my dad as he experienced his first father's day without one of the people who made him a father. As we ate dinner as our new family of 3, it was clear things were not the same. There was something missing. Someone, to be exact. My mom picked out gifts for him she thought Anna would pick out. But she wasn't here to deliver them. She wasn't here to wish my dad a Happy Father's Day, or to give him a hug.
As I reflected on this bittersweet holiday, I came to the realization that this is the way things will be from now on. Not just holidays, but every happy moment from now on. We will still enjoy the holidays and the happy moments in life, of course but a part of us will be hurting. Our hearts will ache from the pain that losing Anna has caused. We will wish that she was here, but we will also take comfort in the fact that she is here in spirit and that she is in a better place. Nothing will ever be the same, how could it be? But this life without Anna, this new normal is in place of how things were before and we have to make that the best it can be. We have to take things one step at a time, and today we accomplished one step; we made it through the first holiday. Sure, there will be many more to come but we can at least take comfort in the fact that we know now we can do it.
|The two luckiest girls in the world to have such a great dad..|