A few weeks ago we celebrated Tim Gray’s 50th Birthday. We drank a toast to Molly, since it was the first birthday Tim was celebrating since her death. It reminded me that we had endured many firsts since her passing. My first birthday was five days after. Then what would have been her 77th birthday less than two weeks later. Of course the most difficult, our anniversary, which would have been our 55th.
The holiday season gave us the next challenge. Molly’s absence, and not being together in our former home in the Hollywood Hills. Thanksgiving gave us a new first, with dinner hosted by Amy and Barney in their home.
Christmas was the next challenge. Missing our wonderful, Christmas loving Matriarch, we decided to congregate together in a neutral spot in Palm Springs. Being together with less emphasis on the holiday itself, helped us fill the void in all of our lives.
During all of the First’s each of us were able to reflect on wonderful memories of past celebrations. Sometimes tears, but often laughter. The love shared by this family over the years has been apparent every moment of every day. This closeness and spirit has maintained us all during the first 9 months since our loss.
Some time ago I received an anonymous quote from my grief coordinator. “Love is stronger than death even though it can’t stop death from happening. No matter how hard death tries it can’t separate people from love. It can’t take away our memories either. In the end, life is stronger than death.” The love of a wife, mother, grandmother, and friend has allowed us to survive all of the past firsts, and those yet to come. Eventually the firsts will end and we will just have the memories.
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