A new year usually means new beginnings...but, as a bereaved parent, it also means...
...another birthday missed
...another year that doesn't include your child
...another holiday season without new memories or new pics of your child
...another anniversary of their death
The weeks, days, hours, and minutes leading up to these "landmark days" are often worse than the actual days. It's the opposite of anticipation - it's pure dread. In your mind, you know the worst has already happened. But, your heart hasn't accepted it.
Oh sure, it supposedly gets "easier" (or just different) to cope with over the years. Society assumes it should get easier - hurt less - you know, the "time to move on" people - we've all met them. But, it's not always easier - there's the realization that every holiday, anniversary, birthday, etc. takes us farther away from our children. Our memories get fuzzier - the contact is slipping away. Those around are saying their name less - we are fighting to keep their memory alive and as time goes on, it gets harder.
It's hard to say what 2019 will bring. I know on the 7th of this month, I will struggle. We no longer acknowledge this day with others - we work to honor Tash on this day. After all, she LIVED for over 10,000 days - I cannot let the one day she left undermine the joy she brought all the other days.
Is it easy? No. Does it get better? Some days, yes - some days, no. Do I ever stop missing her? No.
But, it is possible to find joy - joy without guilt. Tash was joyful - and, I will not dishonor her by not working for that joy. After all, I'm living for us both now. My daughter...my best friend...in this new year, I celebrate her life...her accomplishments and the joy she always shared with others.