I’m 3 hours and 21 minutes from making it through my first Christmas without Jason. I was told the anticipation of the impending grief over the holiday is usually worse than the actual event, but I must say the past couple days have indeed felt terrible. My parents agreed we wouldn’t really celebrate this year so we kept it simple but all I could think about on Christmas Eve was the person who was missing.
Jason had amazing taste when it came to clothing but not so much when it came to paint colors. Yesterday my parents helped me paint over the assaulting bright yellow laundry room he had painted very early on in our relationship….in other words before I felt comfortable telling him that ‘highlighter’ yellow was a bad choice. I felt a little guilty covering up the yellow but really it was like staring at the Sun for too long.
I started thinking back to the first time I visited his house which is now only my house…that thought alone feels discomforting. It reeked of bleak bachelorhood and I could count the pieces of furniture on one hand. Not to be a braggadocio but he needed me, and my home furnishings. He kept his t-shirts in stacked milk crates and owned two forks…I shit you not. I have no idea what would have happened if two other people had shown up at his house. I suppose someone could have used one of the four spoons. I bought him flatware and artwork for our first Christmas.
This house looks nothing like it did in 2008. There’s real furniture, painted walls with pictures, curtains, chic scented candles, bookcases, coordinated bedding and enough dishes and cutlery to have a decent party. But it hasn’t felt like a home since April 13th. I’ve purchased colorful swag from Ikea, relocated artwork, moved the sofa, put up new curtains, painted rooms, and yet it still feels more empty than it did when there were only two forks and a guy with an awkward dog living here 6 years ago.
On the day following Jason’s death the funeral director said to me as I was leaving, “Renee, the world is a different place now.” Those 8 simple words couldn’t be more accurate and piercing.