Christmas has been low-key (just the three of us) but hard. I feel the loss of Joe acutely. Have to go upstairs and cry at least once a day. I was just on the verge of getting to know him on a deeper level, as a friend--not just as my sister's husband, not just as an in-law on the fringes of my family of origin. When I was teen, and even long after that, I felt intimidated by him. Honestly, I was frightened by pretty much all men, had no experience with harmless, benevolent males. He'd startle me now and then with an off-color joke. It was a boundary violation, I have to admit, but innocent. Just a clumsy attempt make me laugh.
My friend says fresh grief stirs up all former losses, and that's how I feel, as if the whole world has turned sad. I try but cannot rise to the level of cheer the world expects at Christmas.