This will be my 7th Christmas without my son, David Glasser. He was a Phoenix Police Officer killed in the line of duty on May 18, 2016.
If you have experienced loss, you have probably heard this many times – “the first year without them is the worst”. Crowds of people told me this during that first Christmas season after Davey’s death. And, yes, it was very tough. The Christmas season lasted forever. It was hard to be around so many smiling people who were celebrating and having a fun time. I was not having a fun time. My smiles were few and far between. I felt a huge amount of relief when that first holiday season was finally over.
So I was hoping that what people told me was true and the coming years would be better. It surprised me when the second Christmas was even more painful than the first as the permanence of the situation started to become a reality. The permanence of the pain has become increasingly real during the 3rd, 4th , 5th and 6th years of living with the growing hole where Davey should be.
This will my 7th Christmas without Davey – and it’s happening again. It’s my Quadruple Whammy.
One punch, two punches, three punches and then – the final punch.
The first punch is Davey’s son, Micah’s, birthday in the beginning of November. I still don’t want to believe that Davey will never be at any of Micah’s birthdays, graduations, wedding, or hold his own grandchildren. We have lost so much.
Next comes Davey’s birthday in November – a couple of weeks after Micah’s. It was his 41st birthday this year – full of great memories laced with the pain. He should have had 60 more birthdays. We have all been robbed.
The third punch is Thanksgiving. There are times when I struggle to say, “Happy Thanksgiving” to people. For me, it’s compounded by the fact that my father died on Thanksgiving 44 years ago. I ride an emotional roller coaster up and down during November.
And then the final whammy – Christmas. So many great Christmas’ with Davey! He was a light in my life and now it’s hard to ignore the darkness. So I focus on how grateful I am for the birth of God’s son, Jesus, my Savior. Jesus is the light of the world and the hope he gives me lights up the dark places in my life.
I’ll just say this right out loud for me and for people like me – I’ll be glad when New Years Eve is over and another holiday season is past. I feel pretty beat up by the time January rolls around.
People like me are called Survivors. I’ve spent over 6 years so far learning just how much surviving goes into this. Every year, we have to ‘survive’ the holidays and birthdays and other special days. We never know when something is going to reach out of a perfectly normal celebration and punch us in the gut. It comes out of nowhere and spins us into the dark hole of grief we had hoped we left behind.
You have heard this from me before and you are hearing it again because it’s still true. I have discovered that the best way for me to survive and deal with the whammies is to focus on all the good I had in my life before Davey was killed and all the good I still have. When I focus on all I have lost, the pain intensifies.
I have also decided to get as close to God as I can and he comforts me each time my heart breaks a little more.
Because my quadruple whammy is not going away. It’s happening again this year.
Miss you, Davey.