This is our third set of holidays without Dominic.
I didn’t think I’d survive the first week after he ran before us to Heaven, but here I am approaching three years since he left and I’m still breathing.
I don’t know what I expected, exactly.
Maybe that I’d get better at this? Maybe I figured that I would be able to work my way through the maze of emotions and arrive at some destination?
I‘ve become proficient at pushing down the rising tide of tears and terrible thoughts. I’m great at ducking into a bathroom or around a corner or behind a store display when that fails and the tears fall.
My heart has learned this odd rhythm-thump, thump, thump, skip a beat for where Dominic used to be–carry on.
The loss and sorrow are no longer a burden I carry, they’ve settled in my bones.
I’ll never be rid of them. Never be able to put them down.
Sometimes my life feels like a kind of prison. The freedom I once enjoyed-freedom from the knowledge of loss, freedom to hope, freedom to live with joyous abandon-has vanished.
I am powerless to change my circumstance.
Dominic is gone, gone, gone.
Like Israel, I must wait on the Lord to bring release.
So this Christmas season I’m thinking about BOTH the birth of Jesus-the long-awaited Messiah-AND the dark and empty years of waiting that went before.
I know the end of the story. The price has been paid and the place prepared.
I’m waiting for God to open the door.
A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes – and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside, is not a bad picture of advent.