A Year Without Jeff

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The Holidays

December 23, 2001. The holiday season is interminable; it's almost intolerable. Being an interfaith family means more celebrating -- and more memories.

December 24, 2001. Tonight the girls and I hung up our stockings, and I cried when I came upon Jeff's -- the one I made him when we were first dating. Margaret wanted to hang it next to hers, so that's what we did.

January 20, 2002. Little things trip me up. On the playground today, I overheard one mother telling another how they had finalized their vacation plans. I had to walk away. Jeff and I loved to travel, and each year we went on several family vacations, including our yearly European trip, with the girls in tow. Now I can't open the travel section of The New York Times; I recycle it immediately.

February 12, 2002. If someone asks me how I'm doing, I say I'm enduring. I feed and clothe and bathe and love our daughters. I gather great joy from our girls, and their love helps me to go on.

March 11, 2002. I watched the TV special 9-11 on the World Trade Center destruction. I hadn't planned to -- just to tape it. And I was stunned! I did not have the TV on September 11 -- except for that one horrifying moment.... Jeff's employer keeps me up to date on what I need to do -- there's an immense amount of paperwork that has to be processed when one's spouse dies. I am not in a support group, but I now have a weekly appointment with a therapist.

Continued on page 4:  How to Endure


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