478 Days Without You

478 days since I woke up without you.  478 days that left me feeling empty and incomplete as I longed to hear the music of your laugh and see the beauty of your smile.  478 days that I yearned to hug you one more time, to say “I love you” one more time. 478 days without your vivacious cheer. 478 days since you had left this Earth.

478 days of coping.  478 days of moving forward.  478 days of learning to live with your absence.  478 days without you.

Two holiday seasons.  Two holiday seasons when nothing felt right.  Two holiday seasons when the world felt distorted.  Two holiday seasons without you.

Our first Christmas together as a family united by tradition but constantly feeling that something was missing.  Our first Christmas without you.

Your absence was unspeakable, untouchable, unbelievable.  The air hung heavily with sadness as we engaged in a charade of happiness, never acknowledging what was missing, never acknowledging you.  Behind closed doors, we whispered that nothing felt the same, that we wished you were here. We all knew that you deserved more, but we couldn’t bring ourselves to speak our memories of you.

478 days without you, and we spoke.  478 days without you, and we broke. 478 days without you, and we healed.  

478 days without you, and we cried over heaps of unmolded cookie batter, letting thick, dark tears cascade down our cheeks as we expressed how much we missed you.  478 days without you, and we hugged, leaning on each other in our moment of need. 478 days without you, and we laughed at how much of a mess we looked, sitting in the kitchen, mascara dripping down our faces, unbaked cookies surrounding us.  478 days without you,, and we bonded as we shared memories of you.

478 days without you, and we brought you to life.

480 days without you.  Two holiday seasons. Our first Christmas together, but without you.

480 days without you and laughter filled the air.  480 days without you and your laughter intermingled with ours, bringing us music, bringing us joy.  480 days without you and champagne flowed freely, its effervescence competing with yours. 480 days without you, and we raised our glasses to honor you.  480 days without you, and you brought us all together. 480 days without you, and you were alive.

602 days without you.  602 days without you, and I will never forget that Christmas.  602 days without you, and you remain in my heart forever. 602 days without you, and you are still alive.

Kelly Douglas

Kelly is an avid writer and mental health and disability advocate with a focus on personal growth. She is passionate about using her life experiences to help others. Her ultimate goal is to make a difference in the world -- no matter how small. When she is not writing or educating others about life with disability and mental illness, Kelly can be found listening to music and cuddling her cat.


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