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We are fine.  When in doubt, assume that we are better than you think.  We’ve had many people who have come to us/bumped into us/whatever and said, “I can’t imagine how hard the holidays must have been for you all.”  Very kind words and very appreciated.  However, for us and for this holiday season it just wasn’t that bad.  Did we miss him?  Sure.  Did we miss all of other blessings and great memories because of missing him?  No.  Was it as hard as we thought?  Well, I don’t know if we had spent much time predicting the amount of hurt we would experience.  So, as I said, we’re ok, probably better than you’d think.  We have begun to go through a lot of his clothes and things, throwing some away, giving some away, and keeping other things for various reasons/purposes.  Does it spur many an emotion, some sad?  Yes.  Does it leave us frozen in grief and distress?  No.  We were ready.

One thing though, I’ve noticed something lately.  It occurs mostly in dreams.  I’ve told you before that I don’t have good dreams.  I rarely have anything near approaching a nightmare.  I just don’t have good dreams.  Most are dreams where things just don’t go right or I can’t get where I want/need to be.  While that remains true (though recently I’ve had a couple of…pleasant dreams (not quite good but…well, pleasant) something else has started to happen.

I’ve noticed old hurts, hidden if you will, being revisited in my dreams lately.  Big ones, little ones, simply hurts.  Dreams having nothing to do with Trey, mind you.  I guess it makes total sense that I have had my world turned upside down for the past 4 years and that one predominant thought has consumed my mind.  I praise God that I am aware of this and not confused, walking in anger and steadfast disgruntledness (I sure can make up a word can’t I?).

So, what to do?  That’s the part that really blows.  Obviously, they (the hurts) are still in there somewhere.  The biggest hurts of my life (long, long before Trey) have been addressed and comforted as Rachel and I learned all about emotional/relational needs.  We shared our hurts with each other and cried with and comforted each other.  We’ve known for years that it would be best to address these other hurts…someday.  There are many tools that would enable us to do so.  Granted, in no way/shape/or form am I saying that we are done grieving/comforting the hurts surrounding Trey.  No, that has begun but there is a lot of work to be done emotionally regarding the past 4 years but most specifically those around November 5th.  We are hoping to get away for a few days in February to do just that.

I would say this.  All hurts matter.  They all leave marks.  They impact us for a lifetime.  If you have a “black box of emotions” where you store all of your hurts, never to be heard from again, there WILL be a day when that box gets blown wide open.  If you just move on, those hurts will nag at you and disguise themselves in insidious and clandestine ways.  In my case, I addressed many of those hurts.  Now, I have realized that there are others that are waiting/needing to be comforted.

The reality is, the ONLY way to get rid of hurts is to have someone near and dear and trusted by you to comfort you by joining you in your pain.  Please remember that it is not a function of “looking at those pain differently” or “realizing how God used these setbacks to prepare you to help others.”  While that may be true and/or temporarily helpful it doesn’t get rid of the original hurt.

If we don’t attach comfort to these hurts, the pain from them will forever be added to the newer pains that life brings, both big and small.  Sadly, we are very often not even aware that this is happening.

How many of “those” hurts have come to mind as you have read this?  It doesn’t take long does it?  Odds are there are others you haven’t really thought of in years.  There are tools listed in the links of this post (bold print) that will go a long way toward beginning to address these hurts.  At the very least, talk them over with a loved one.  Prep them by telling them to say next to nothing, just listen and share how hearing them make them feel.  You will begin to heal.

We have begun to heal.  We have realized that there is more healing ahead in many other areas.  We’re plugging away at comforting all of them.  Thanks for being a large part of this journey.

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