Christmas showed up only a month after Michael died, and while I missed him terribly, feeling intermittent spikes of melancholy, I experienced none of the intense darkness that the grieving often say they feel when it comes to the grandest of all holidays. Nor did I feel like the day had been ruined for me, perhaps forever, because it landed near the death of someone I loved.
I was sure there must be something wrong with me at first because not even Thanksgiving was marred—a holiday Michael died within days of last year.
Thinking it over, I believe I have him to thank for this reprieve. My husband took such unbridled joy in the celebration of these holidays while he lived that when I encounter them now, it feels wrong to be overwhelmed by sadness because he’s no longer here to see them in with me. Instead, I think I should relish them with all the gusto he did, if only as a way of honoring who he was.