Christmas Without Her 2021

  I hope your Christmas this year was spent with those you love most. It certainly has been different from past Christmas for us. I'm sure many are experiencing "first" kinds of holidays this year.

 Christmas 2020 was spent quarantining from extended family members. Due to my immune system being weakened from my Ankylosing Spondylitis medications, we felt safer by only celebrating with immediate family members. Looking back I wish we could've found a way to do a social distant celebration. Since December is very chilly in our area we didn't have the option of an outdoor event, but maybe we should've made a bigger effort.

  As bad as 2020 covid cases were in our area, we hadn't seen the surge that the rest of our country was dealing with until 2021. Sadly, as 2021 proceeded we saw friends losing multiple family members. Our hospitals were over capacity and started turning people away. Friends and family members who work in the medical field were exhausted and pushed beyond what most people could endure. 

  Many people were suffering from depression and anxiety. Sadly, I lost one of my oldest friends to suicide during the summer. It still doesn't seem possible that she is gone. That is until there's the emptiness at Thanksgiving and Christmas without her infectious laughter and jokes. Oh, how I wish we had spent 2020 holidays together. These holidays we all tried to put on brave faces but tears entered when we looked around. She always made mashed potatoes for our dinners. Of course, someone else made them this year but even trying to bring myself to get a spoonful of mashed potatoes brought tears. My friend's husband and two of her sons couldn't join us this year due to the pain and grief. I completely understand, I wish I could do something to help them. Nothing seems adequate. I wish for so many things, I wish she'd told me what she was feeling. I wish I had checked on her more often. I wish she knew how much we all loved her. I wish she knew she could've asked any of us for anything. 

  This is a sad post and I hope I haven't been too depressing. I really need to say if you're getting depressed, please call a friend or family member. Please don't hide what you're going through. Talk to someone. I guarantee you are not alone. 

 Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-273-8255 available 24 hours a day