Holidays and anniversaries are tough.

And so comes another year… year five is approaching. March 18th.
Four Christmases. Four Thanksgivings. Four Ethan Birthdays.
Each is still hard and I guess I am getting used to it.
And really I think the anticipation of the grief is as big an issue as making it through another holiday season, another birthday, or the date on which he took his life.

I remember the day I picked up Ethan’s ashes from the post office.
We had gotten the yellow slip a few days earlier… but the post office was closed so we couldn’t pick up the box. And then, even though I left work as early as possible, it was closed by the time I reach it the next day.

So, intent on not leaving the ashes behind the counter in the post office, I determined to leave work a little early. I spoke to the principal and got permission to leave when the kids left… and not hang out to our contract time. I walked down to the back gate… but it was locked. The teacher with the room next to that gate has the key… so when I asked her, she refused. She lectured me about professionalism and contract time.

I couldn’t respond. My throat went dry and I walked away, fighting back tears. I went out the front gate past the students and walked all the way around the block to the back to get my car. By that time I was crying. And I cried all the way up the mountain and into the post office.

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