There'll be no turkey roasting in the oven this year. We're starting our holiday round of firsts, as in the first Thanksgiving after the partner's father has died. In the back of your mind, you always knew that such a first would be there, and yet you're not quite ready to deal with it.
This year, at the partner's suggestion, we're celebrating Thanksgiving in a hotel dining room. Different place, but then, everything about the holiday is different this year. There's a person missing, and it's easier to sit in a hotel dining room where the gap at the table doesn't exist. Christmas will no doubt be adjusted as well, but not as radically. We have to get past this first hurdle, the holiday that follows a death, and then we can begin to shift about and rearrange and settle into a holiday without.
We've much to be grateful for, and we'll focus on the good times and good memories today. The warmth and comfort of family and friends is a most precious gift indeed.