For someone dealing with grief the holidays are the absolute worst! Especially when the wound is still in the process of healing. Honestly, I figured that this time would be easier since it was my second without Adam… but I couldn’t have been more wrong. There are so many things that I did not take into account. The stress of the holidays driving me to feel deep anger for my situation. The absence being felt deeper now that things have settled down. The gut wrenching sadness that Adam doesn’t get to participate with us and see the pure excitement on Henry’s face Christmas morning. All of these are feelings and emotions that I “apparently” didn’t feel last year… These have put quite a damper on my spirits for this holiday season. Let me give you a little insight on how I used to be when this time came around.
I am the person that feels all holidays should be respected….No matter how bad I want to jump into the Christmas season. As soon as thanksgiving is celebrated, the fall decor comes down and up goes the lights, garland, decor, and TREE! Christmas music is playing non stop and the atmosphere and emotions are light and happy. That is because we are entering the time that best reflects my personality and I think that’s why I love it so much. I enjoying giving to others and bringing joy to their lives! It brings me such happiness. This year is special because my son and I are beginning a new tradition! I was so excited for this time… until it got here. The pain, heartache, and sadness has stifled my love for the season. We haven’t listened to hardly any Christmas music. My tree is up because my son wanted to put his train underneath it. My lights are up thanks to my amazing father, but my Christmas spirit is shattered and the depression has slowly creeped its way back into the picture. It’s honestly the worst!
When you go through a unexpected/traumatic loss there are so many things going on at one time that it seems like your body stays in survival mode constantly. Well at least for me that what it felt like. There were some many things going on last year around this time that I didn’t hardly have time to feel the absence. I acknowledged it. We sat a place at the table for Adam at our Christmas Eve dinner, but I didn’t REALLY comprehend it. Granted during this time last year I was also constantly surrounded with family and friends whether physically or emotionally. Before I move on let me state that I still have that support, but my mind is beginning to realize that this is my reality. It makes you stop and think about your priorities. I do what I need to to keep normalcy for my son, and will always put his needs before my own, but I hope there is healing in the pain being felt this season. I feel as though the bandaid has been ripped off… the sting is sharp and the wound is not completely healed…It’s so FRUSTRATING! I always hated when things happening in my life affected my being so completely, and Adam was always the one to say let it be!
The holiday season is meant to bring families and friends together, but it can’t truly do that for us this year again. A huge and very important someone is missing. I am trying not to become too wrapped up in what is missing, but that is a slippery slope. My very wise sister in law reminded me of something that really help me bring me back to center. She said, “Please try to be gentle with yourself. Healing is never a linear process. Going back into the wound and feeling is probably actually growth on the journey. You’re doing amazing no matter where you’re at.” So if you are struggling with grief this holiday season own it! Don’t pretend to feel something you aren’t. Embrace the place you are… here and now. It’s a slow healing process. It could take months or maybe even years, but if you keep your sights on what is and why is important you will keep you moving forward. So if you need to cry… DO IT! If you need to be alone….DO IT! You will emerge stronger and healthier. Grief is not able to be cancelled out because we are supposed to celebrate. It is not overcome because we are comfortable where we are. It is evolving. You are healing.
May your holiday season be filled with comfort, peace, and blessings.