This Christmas season has been especially sharp for me. I couldn’t figure out exactly why. It wasn’t just the feeling that we are so outside the celebratory jolly-ness of the holidays. That exclusion is a bit sad, but not painful. It finally dawned on me yesterday; it’s the cold, the pervasive bitter cold. Last year Morgan’s body had not been found by this time. We desperately clung to the fantasy that Morgan was alive somewhere and each cold night or snowfall was a torture as we imagined Morgan exposed to the elements and suffering. She was indeed exposed to the elements, but her suffering was long past. I am so very grateful to have that knowledge.
There is almost a PTSD quality to our feelings right now. We’re cycling fast. Initially, shock and disbelief are like insulation and protect you from feeling too much. As those feelings have dissipated we’ve been hit full on with much emotion over Morgan’s death this winter. The extremely low temperatures and strong winds also leave me breathless with eyes and nose streaming every time I dash outside. The sensation of secretions pouring down my face has me constantly feeling like I am recovering from a crying jag and it hurts like before. It seems that the tissues of my eyes, the skin of my cheeks don’t differentiate between wind driven tears and tears of heartbreak. Both leave me spent.
People want us to get over it. Hell, we want to get over it. But we are different people now, irrevocably changed by the murder of our daughter. The constellations of friendships are reforming based upon other’s comfort level with our discomfort. That’s OK. I’ve heard “get better or be bitter” I don’t think we are bitter, but know we are not better – at least not yet. We are working hard and I am immensely proud that we have survived the first year of our separation from Morgan. It may be that as those years stack up, the loss won’t feel as sharp, though I doubt it.
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