When Cindy passed away, people kept telling me to be prepared because “firsts” are hard. By “firsts,” they were talking about the first time something happened without Cindy around: first birthdays, first Christmas, first visit to our favorite restaurant and other “firsts” that would be sure to evoke strong, emotional memories. They were right, firsts are hard, but I have to say one thing: “seconds” are hard too. In fact, I think the second time around is even harder for some things.
Take Christmas for example, our first Christmas without Cindy came just a few months after her passing. Kevin and I were still pretty much in shock and trying to figure out how things were going to work. By the time our second Christmas came around, we had started to settle into a routine and Cindy’s absence was no longer as much of a shock. The stabbing pain of loss had morphed into the never-ending ache of loneliness. Christmas 2016 was considerably harder than the one in 2015.
The same is true for birthdays and other occasions. I believe we tend to prepare for the first one, expecting that things will get easier as time goes on. The second ones catch us off guard.
Today marks two years since Cindy passed away. We’ve made it through all of the “firsts” and all of the “seconds.” Starting tomorrow, we start working on the “thirds.” I sure hope that “thirds” start to get easier.