I spent the first Thanksgiving after Cassie died escaping to a conference in Cape Town, South Africa and tried to pretend that the holidays didn’t even exist. I moved through them as if in a fog, distancing myself emotionally, because to connect with them would remind me of all the holidays Cassie and I spent together and that was just too painful. I felt like I lived in a different universe from those who were merrily bustling around, getting ready for Christmas.

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