It’s my third Christmas without Maggie. So far, it’s unique in that I haven’t been overwhelmingly sad: no meltdowns, no wallowing, no misery. However, don’t misread what I type as a description of Christmas joy or, hell, even joy. Her absence still cuts a deep emotional wake. I feel like I’m coated in some sort of waxy substance that makes everything feel gray and dingy and blah. Christmas cheer definitely has found no home here at the Weaver house.
What’s noticeably absent this year that was so prevalent the years previous is pain. I’m really not hurting, per se, and that’s different. Instead, what I feel is just emptiness, plain ol’ emptiness, like there’s just a great big hole right in the middle of me where something super important should be. It’s not pain. It’s just empty.
Maggie used to surprise me with the greatest gifts on Christmas morning. She’d sneak a real zinger onto my pillow when I ran to the bathroom or let the dogs out. (She was sneaky!) When I’d return, she’d offer a grin and a giggle as I opened it. I loved those moments. But this morning, no gift, no grin, no giggle. Just silence. So instead of spinning up for a fun day of Christmas festivities, I laid in bed alone for two hours, pondering what’s left of my life. (It’s just remarkable how I’m still very profoundly affected by all of what has happened.)
But empty beats crippling sadness and pain.