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  • Karen Trench

'Tis the Season...

Updated: Sep 28, 2019

"I have been thinking about the change of seasons. I don't want to miss spring this year. I want to be there on the spot the moment the grass turns green." --Annie Dillard


It has been four and one-half years since I lost my beloved husband. He died at the onset of spring, 2015. That means that I have endured five springs and summers and four autumns and winters alone. I am writing this at the onset of my fifth autumn without Charlie and I have to admit that even now, the change of seasons remains my biggest grief trigger.


This year, the transition from summer to fall was worsened by the fact that I had to sell and will soon be “closing” on the last home that we shared together. I find that I’m dreading the day when I have to sit with the buyers and the realtors and the folks from the title company and sign my name over and over again on the dotted line. I fear that I won’t be able to keep it together and that my tears will spill out of me like a burst dam and smear the inked documents. I fear that metaphorically speaking, every document I’m required to sign will bring me closer to finalizing the last chapter in the book that was our life….and that when I sign my name for the last time, it means that our story has come to an end and it’s time to “close” that book and place it on the shelf for good.


I’m in a new home now. I have finished at long last, poring through our stuff; kicking all of the hornet’s nests, and awakening all of the ghosts. It was a grueling summer—often overwhelming and not without a few “brought to my knee” moments—and moments where I would break down in the arms of my sisters and just wail…while they would speak kind words of love and reassurance---reminding me how well I was doing and how far I had come. Thank God for the blessing of others! I was required to climb a mountain this summer. And, like all the other mountains that I’ve been required to climb these past four years and have miraculously summited, I expect that in a couple of weeks, this one will be no exception. But still, I’m dreading the day.


As life would have it, I’ve climbed far enough up the “letting go of the last house” mountain to see yet another looming a bit further on the horizon that I will be required to tackle. That one is called “The Holiday Season,” chiefly, Mount Christmas…our favorite holiday and since Charlie died, the one I have hardly been able to celebrate…mostly because I’ve not had the strength, the desire, the fortitude, the stamina, or the heart to even peek into the boxes that contain a “mountain” of beautiful memories.


Another grueling but necessary “climb” awaits, but with the help of my lovely daughter-in-law, who will be by my side to offer up her love and enough strength for the both of us, I am determined, even at the risk of resurrecting and confronting the ghosts of Christmas past, to open each and every box, and make this Christmas, what will be the fifth without Charlie, the one in which I reach yet one more summit.


I’ll save that story for another blog post. I'd love to hear from you as to how or even if the change of seasons speak to you as you continue your journey through grief and loss.


Happy autumn and know that I am wrapping you all in light, love, and gratitude!


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