I started writing this last year, on my birthday. I then worked on it more in January, after Nick and I had hit most of the major annual milestones already since Rayna’s death. Thanksgiving. Christmas Eve. ChristmasNew Year’s Eve. Both of our birthdays. The birthdays were one of the most difficult milestones for me, and now I’m already upon another (my 30th – yikes!).

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New Year’s Eve

I loved this song even before Rayna died (and I saw Brooke Fraser in concert when I was pregnant–Brooke was also pregnant and if Rayna had lived, we’d have daughters about the same age). Tonight it seems especially fitting. We look to 2016 with hope for a year that feels different than 2015. Yet, we wouldn’t erase 2015 and the time we had with our daughter.

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Why I’m Thankful

For the past several years, I have spent November making daily thankful posts on Facebook. While I try to be thankful for something every day, November is the time I have traditionally done this in a more public way. Losing Rayna was and is the hardest thing I’ve ever personally experienced, so it would have been easy to skip public thankfulness this year and instead dwell on what I’ve lost, but I didn’t. The world also seems like a very crazy place right now, so it would have been easy to skip thankfulness this year and instead sink into despair about the world, but I didn’t. Nick and I have consciously chosen to face the grief head-on. We aren’t doing this perfectly but we do try to keep moving forward. Making daily thankfulness posts was a normal November and Thanksgiving thing I could do.

What are you thankful for today? What is a normal thing this holiday season you feel you can continue in the midst of any grief or challenges you may be facing?

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