My empty nest means I’m rarely crazy busy even around the holidays.  

I no longer have to fit in shopping whenever I can manage it because little eyes might be watching or Christmas choir performances and church programs fill the calendar.  


Most of my shopping is online and I don’t even have to worry about whisking gifts off the porch before anyone sees them.

I’m a different kind of busy now.  

I’m busy making sure I’m not overexposed to Christmas commercials, Christmas movies or Christmas carols because they are likely to open the floodgates of tears I keep behind a dam of determination.

I’m busy drawing deep breaths when I pick up the phone and it’s a relative that never calls but needs an address for a Christmas card and, since I’m apparently the Keeper of the Addresses, always calls me.

I’m busy looking away from the childhood photos lining my upstairs hallway so I can stay focused on the vacuuming that needs doing.

I’m busy pinning down fruitless thoughts of “what if” or “if only” or “I wish”.

I’m busy getting things ready for the brief time my remaining family will be gathered around the dining room table.  I’m trying hard to accommodate schedules and preferences and favorite foods and treasured traditions.

I’m busy pushing back sadness that threatens to overwhelm me in the dark of the year when clouds and rain make it even darker, even earlier.  I’m lighting candles, plugging in lights and adding cheerful touches here and there to drive out the shadows that come creeping.

From the outside looking in, I’m awash in free time and easy choices.  

And some folks wonder why I don’t answer the phone or join in the party.  

But I am very, very busy.  

I was busy

Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

6 thoughts on “Busy”

  1. Melanie-this hits the nail on the head!! Big hole in my heart which belongs to my sone, that is with me until………………we meet again. Started listening to a podcast that is written by a young widow, with stories of people with all kinds of losses and how they cope. Making space for my son, who died, by thinking about him alot, volunteering, looking at pictures, and letting my self feel the tired and trying to make it all work again and again. Thanks for all your posts…xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the phrase “making space for my son”! That’s really a big part of what we have to do, isn’t it? We have to figure out how to hold that space open and fill it with meaning while we wait to be reunited. Good for you! ❤


  2. YES!
    I’m constantly looking…missing my daughter. Knowing there are things to do, but dreading getting up every day. The missing takes most of my energy.


  3. I too have very little to do, we downsized our house years ago and our second son and family host Christmas day. We are not prone to massively over stock on food…no room but….I feel I am constantly on edge…..as though I have overlooked something. Driven even.
    I think you have expressed exactly what it is Melanie.
    Sending love across the ocean.
    Peace be with you xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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