Am I happy that this year is coming to an end? It was the hardest year of my life.
Am I wanting to hold on to it just a bit longer? It's the last day that I can say Jacob was with us this year.
Starting a new year with one less child seems unspeakable. It's not a happy new year. It seems more like an ending than a new beginning.
Missing a loved one is such an isolating emotion. No matter how much you are surrounded with love, the ever present absence of that person can only be felt by those within your household. The empty couch. The Star Wars toys and books left unplayed with. Five toothbrushes instead of six. Too much food made for meals, instead of just the right amount. No more key lime pie yogurt in the fridge. Three little pairs of shoes lined up instead of four. Everything is an hourly, if not minutely, reminder.
Grief is depressing. No matter how happy I am to know that Jacob is healed and whole, basking in the presence of our Lord, the emptiness that he left in his wake is real. It's a recognizable void that just can't be filled. While I can thank God for his blessings, which I still see all around me, that doesn't make this all better. That doesn't take away the heartache.
We will trudge on. We will recreate a new normal. But starting out a whole new year without Jacob is not something I am looking forward to.