Yes, I’ve already written about the upcoming holidays , but I find I have more to say on the topic.
This will be my fourth Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s without hubby. There are those who say that by now it shouldn’t bother me. By now I should have made new traditions, “moved on”, “stop dwelling on it”. But, as anyone who’s on this journey knows, as much as you may “fake it til you make it” on the outside, on the inside, it’s still there.
My first Christmas without hubby was also my first Christmas at home without any family here. My husband died almost seven months to the day after my mother, so that first Christmas without Mom we took a trip rather than stay home and dwell on all the changes. My family always did Christmas up big, and I was used to being surrounded by lots of family over the holidays. I went from the equivalent of “The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Christmas” to a lone wolf.
I’ve tried many different things these last few years. I’ve tried keeping our traditions, just for my son and me. I’ve opened my door to anyone who needs a place to celebrate. I’ve accepted invitations to go to other’s homes. I’ve tried to forget it and just sit home and watch movies. No matter what I do, it’s still not the same, and the void is there. I can be in a room full of people, laughing and appearing to have a good time on the outside, but on the inside ready to run away. I do okay trying to find the blessings and I’m grateful to those who reach out and include us in their family celebrations. It’s just that “the new normal” is difficult at times, and this season is the worst.
After we get through these holidays, the anniversary of his death rolls around again. How it can be four years, I have no clue. I have no idea how I’ve managed this long without him. And it seems to have gone by in the blink of an eye.
The pain isn’t as crippling as it once was, but the loss never goes away. And with the void comes the “He should be here” thoughts and, while less than it was, the anger that he’s not.
When you’ve lost almost everything, you have to make the choice to look for the blessings. I was blessed to see both of my brothers this weekend. Family is everything, and while spread all over the map, any time with any of my siblings is treasured time. This Thanksgiving my son and I will join friends and their family. They’re a large, loving family who we’ve come to love dearly, and it will be great to be in that environment and feel the love. The loss will be there, but so will the love. And that’s what matters.
I….. am…. blessed.