...... is not something I have felt a lot these past almost-6 years.
I mean, I've felt it for a few things, like my children, my family and friends who were there for me when I really needed them.
But it was beyond difficult to feel thankful, while at the same time not believing that Jim was dead.
But this year ...... this year is different.
These are the things I'm thankful for, even in the midst of missing him every single day:
It had been nearly six months since Dave died and Christmas was coming, whether I cared about it or not. I got home and the driveway was full of familiar cars, the house lit up like Vegas.
Waiting inside were many of my closest girlfriends and a house decorated for Christmas; music, candles, food and a perfect Christmas tree ready to decorate. Each woman (and many who couldn't physically be there), presented me with an ornament to put on my tree. Each ornament had some personal meaning.
It's this tree that I pulled out and slowly reassembled the other day, picking up each ornament and finding just the right spot for it on my tree.
New Year’s Eve is my #1 most difficult holiday. More than Christmas, more than Halloween and more than Maggie’s birthday weekend (2nd weekend in December.) Saturday will mark the third without a midnight Maggie-and-Chris lip lock. It’s difficult to imagine kissing someone else on that day and at that time since her lips are the only ones I’ve kissed at that special moment since 1999. Because of tradition and love and respect, it seems like that special moment is reserved, forever and ever, just for her. But this year I was going to try it and see how it went. I’m pretty sure my intended date had no idea the significance of the place she stood because she’d have no doubt bowed out for that reason alone. But it doesn’t matter; for unrelated reasons I’m going stag…. Again.Read more
Today is my birthday. I am 42 years old, three years older than Phil was when he died six years ago (crazy to think he would be 46 right now!). My first birthday without him I remember wishing time could just stand still. I didn't want to age without him;I didn't want to celebrate being alive with birthday songs and presents; and I didn't want to continue on a forward path that moved away from the life I loved with Phil. Overall, December 29, 2005 was not my best birthday.
Truthfully, finding a way to appreciate the opportunity to live another year took some time. I moved from being down right pissed off about my repeating birthdays to being a bit ambivalent about the passing of time to finally accepting the fact that until my number is called my job is to seize the day.Read more
Christmases without Greg, that is.
Given my long-lived female relatives, I know I can expect to see the age of 90 if not 100 years old. (Longevity seems to be a heritable trait in my family ... as does early widowhood.)
Which means 48 more Christmases to endure even with the more conservative estimate....
...and I don't want to do another single one, leave alone another 48 or more.
It’s so strange how much easier the holidays were than I expected. Don't get me wrong, it hasn't been easy, just easier than expected. I've been feeling almost spooked by the lack of horrific pain I've felt in the last week or so leading up to Christmas.Read more
The day Phil died, my world was irrevocably changed. No amount of crying, wishing, or begging could switch my new reality back to the reality of what seems like only moments ago. The first Christmas without him, I sat on the coach alone watching the kids open gifts that only I chose, purchased, wrapped, and stowed under the tree...barely able to keep from bawling all over their happiness. I swear I could hear my heart breaking again as reality slapped me in the face on what is touted as the merriest of days. I didn't believe the pain of missing him would ever lessen. I couldn't see how that was possible if Phil was still going to be dead...and unless there was some kind of amazing magic wand under the tree that could reverse my reality, Christmas seemed doomed for ever more.Read more
I'll start today with a few toasts to the holidays! Cheers! Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! and drum roll please.....Death still Sucks!
Two more days til Christmas, and as usual....I'm not ready yet. I still have a shopping list, I've still not wrapped my gifts, and I haven't watched all the movies I want to see or drank all the eggnog in the fridge. BUT, I'm working on it!
Warning – my brand of humour follows. I think I’m funny. You may disagree.
I feel short-changed.
For years, we would debate about whose family home we would spend Christmas in.
.... my parent’s home with their clean, relatively modern furniture, good food, great company and pleasant atmosphere
... or with his large, loud, argumentative family at the farm.
Now I loved my dearly departed parents-in-law, but they lived in one of the filthiest homes I have ever entered.
And I say that with love.Read more
I wish I could report days of happiness and joy. But I can't.
I feel like I am walking around with an open wound. It's been like this throughout the whole holiday season. This year feels worse than the past two years. Why am I crying so much?
I suppose I can answer my own question.