They family doesn’t always know what to say to the Veteran. Whispering the event of the day so as not to rekindle the spark that ignited the rage, the violence, and finally the shame.
The family doesn’t always see the Veteran. The Veteran has withdrawn into isolation. The holidays bring too much emotion to feel safe. Too much anxiety to feel normal.
The family doesn’t always hear the Veteran. Yet they know he struggles and cries out in his sleep. His angry outburst is not directed at them but a manifestation of the grief that lingers and interferes.
The family doesn’t always hold the Veteran. They stand to the side, though they long to hug the boy that left for war. His Soldierly pride prevents their warm embrace.
The family will always love the Veteran. He wishes he could show them and tell them how much more he needs their love. He loves from a distance. The pain of losing more is too great to face. The family tries to understand.