Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve and I find myself wanting to hang onto 2015 with all my strength. I’ve never been a big New Year’s Eve party girl. However, I have always enjoyed reflecting on the year that has passed, as well as, thinking about, praying for and envisioning the year to come.

This year I picture myself sliding down the edge of a cliff hanging on with just my finger tips, white knuckled and shaking…fingernails digging in…..I am not ready to leave 2015. I am not ready to live in a calendar year my dad never got to see. Experiencing such a big loss in the month of December feels like such a double blow to me, I am dealing with the first month and year without him at the same time.

When Dad first died I would describe how was I was as “Devastated but functioning”. Coining the phrase for myself really helped. I was determined not to say “OK” (which I still did more times than I want to count), but to answer as honestly as possible and this phrase gave me a go to.

A few short weeks later I find myself saying things like “I’m just a big hot mess”. I’m ok with being a big hot mess, it is all I know how to be right now. It is more of a walking around in a fog of shock and disbelief. It is really possible that PawPaw won’t be taking Gabriel on hikes in the spring? Is it really possible that the book he recorded for me is one of the very few ways I can access his voice? Is he really gone?

As a preschool teacher I am off for a few weeks every Dec/Jan, usually the lack of schedule gets to me pretty quickly. Not this year. I have been so thankful for the lack of responsibility. I am completely unmotivated. At times I find making simple decisions incredibly taxing. Then,I have other moments where I can easily and succinctly tackle a project that has boggled me for months. Not ideal,but this is what grief looks like right now for me.

I am so thankful for outlets…blogging, time with family, conversations with friends both scheduled and unscheduled. (I had a case of verbal diarrhea in the Target aisle a few days ago with an incredibly nice woman in my mom’s group). I am thankful for all the love, support, care and kindness being poured in as well.

I probably won’t stay awake to see the ball drop (even in the eastern time zone), but I will treasure each moment for rest of 2015. Then as 2016 arrives I will continue this process of grief and by the grace of God, live into the legacy Dad left behind.