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Thank you for this. I was moved to tears as you described yourself in the airport. My mother suffered a brain aneurysm in 2007, far away from me in FL. As I sat in the airport on my way to be with my father, I got the call that she had actually died. I remember sitting there, looking around me at all the other people in the waiting area, feeling stunned. There they were, on their way to vacations and business meetings and homecomings, and I was off to deal with a dead loved one. It was surreal. And it occurred to me then, as it never had before, I was not likely the only person in that situation. But I had never considered it until that day.

My sympathies about your cat. Been there, done that too. This time of year I find myself in tears a lot. Hymns from childhood remind me of my mom. Advent and Christmas are supposed to be happy times, in theory, and it feels like a strange juxtaposition to hear a beloved Christmas carol and have it make you cry.

I am sorry for the loss of your father. As you know, the sense of loss never goes away, it just becomes more familiar to us as time passes.