Dear self, give grace.
You aren’t meant to carry pain of losing a sibling alone. Loss does things to you — it opens up your insides, gushing life-blood all over the bus when you least expect it on your morning commute. Loss makes you run to the bathroom mid-afternoon just to breathe. You wonder if the pain is making you crazy, because the milk is left out to spoil and you went to the printer/copier for something but now it’s gone. Loss downs 3 cups of coffee and immediately regrets it. Loss drinks too much and eats everything and nothing. Loss lets you write maybe 3 sentences before the pain is too great and now you’re weeping silently under a reading lamp on a 5 hour flight.
Loss comes back and tears off the scab you were tending. It reminds you of love, deep lasting love that defies earthly understanding. Give grace to yourself. Lean into seasons of fasting and feasting, and stop fretting over whether this Christmas is magical or spiritual enough. Go through the motions when you don’t feel like it, because groceries need to bought and the bills paid. You need the routine, but more importantly, you need communion.
Take the vitamins and write the stories down. Order a drink on the plane and take a nap. Christmas is still here, and the light of heaven is touching earth in the midst of everyday monotony and the struggling. Hug hard and kiss softly. Love is near and Loss is near. Give grace to yourself and hold onto both.