Trying not to Grinch the Holidays~

I feel like such a grinch with the holiday season.  Honestly, it was never a big day for me or my husband, especially once the kids left home.  The days we celebrated, the days that meant so much to us, were our birthdays~the days we each came into this world~and our anniversary~the day we joined our lives.  

That wet-blanket feeling of the holidays, that feeling that you hate to impose on others, so you try as hard as you can to put the face on and force some joy into your heart and involve yourself with whatever activity or conversation that is going on around you but after a while you’re so exhausted that you just need to go away and be by yourself.  But you don’t want them whoever they are to notice because then they’ll come after you and find you in tears or just lying down from the aforementioned exhaustion and they’ll ask you questions or try to talk to you with the best intentions and you might talk with them about your dear one who is no longer here and his/her absence looms so hugely and you just can’t do this thing any longer and you don’t want to be that wet blanket but try as you do you can’t force any other feeling and you’re just tired.

I look at my adult kids and I know that they are each having their moments of missing their dad, even as it’s a constant throb in their lives but yeah, Christmas makes it even more so for them.  And I know that they will listen if I wanted to speak of my husband but I don’t want to bring them down even more than I don’t want to bring friends down so yeah, sometimes I do disappear but not for too long because I don’t want them to be concerned.

What a mish-mash grief is on an ordinary day.  Add a holiday and light a match I am.  

Remembering to the times I shared with my husband in years past.  Watching our kids now, with their husbands and wives and kids, knowing that Chuck and I had our time of doing all of this and wondering if I had my time and now it’s all about being alone.

Being a widow goes beyond being lonely.  I don’t even know what word to use for it.  Alone in a sea of people and exhausted from trying to be present and seize the moment.

For me, in the midst of it, I think of all of you, my sister and brother widows, and my heart reaches out to each and every one of you.  Today, and Christmas, and as the New Year comes in.

May we all be blessed~

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  • Steve Coulter Coulter
    commented 2015-12-26 00:12:13 -0800
    I understand Morgan. I am now 6.9 yrs out since my 1st partner passed. We shared 31 yrs together. It was over 5 yrs before i attempted to celebrate or participate in any holidays. I hid from every holiday avoided any parties and get togethers, hid in my bedroom which was my safe place. Last yr, was the first attempt at xmas. I was re-partnered for over a yr, luckily new partner allready had plans to travel xmas week our first yr together so i just hid again, but last yr i couldnt avoid it, new partner loves xmas and i so wanted to b in the mood and join in. It was very rough, alot of hidden tears, hidden emotional pain, but i actually started to enjoy it and ended up having a lovely xmas. I supplied all the decorations, all new, and new partner did all the work decorating. He understood. I spent a fortune spoiling us and family and hos family, and it was great doing it. This year im back to hiding. Not into it at all, have been dreading it and cant wait for janusry 2nd. My father has been deathly ill the past month, just put him in hospice this week, and my mom is grieving. All the same ugly traumas of someones life coming to an end are part of my life again, its pushing too many triggers and has sent my mind and emotions back to 2009 again. I know this is natural, a yucky part of life, i will eventually b able to get myself back, but im being kind to myself and giving myself permission to hide this year. You can too.
  • indie
    commented 2015-12-25 21:47:10 -0800
    My husband loved Xmas. In our later years he was the one who would put up the tree and decorate it. He always wanted it to be a special time for the two of us.
    Three years ago tomorrow he came out of surgery with a Stage 4 terminal diagnosis and was gone 27 days later. Not enough time to figure out how to say goodbye. We were both counting the six to nine months he was given.
    I want nothing to do with Xmas, now or ever. It is overshadowed with images of hospitals and doctors who were unavailable and the beginning of the end. I can’t hide my grief anymore. I’ve tried to hide as much of it as possible for a long time and I realized recently there is no reason to pretend. I’m sure my husband would not want me to give up but everything is so hard I have to pick and choose the things I still can do and those are limited to having to make enough money to live. That is where I concentrate my energy and the rest has to fall by the wayside.

    Grief has exhausted me. It has made me physically sick and I am trying not to get so sick that I need care. As much as what i know we are all supposed to keep striving to “get better” I can only carry the weight that i now realize is much much more than I ever bargained for.

    I wish for all of us the best path we can honestly shoulder.
  • Steve Coulter Coulter
    commented 2015-12-24 09:00:31 -0800
    I can totally relate to this post. Although i am re-partnered now over 2 yrs to a good guy, the holidays are still “grey” to me. I try really hard to be grateful for all my blessings, i sit and review them often almost every day, i keep telling myself this will pass, i will become stronger, be truly happy and joyous again someday, its been 6.5 yrs since my first long time partner passed, i understand i will always love him and think of him, but i feel guilty being depressed around new partner, so i “fake” it.
    He knows, we have discussed b4, he is empathetic, understanding, but he has never lost anyone at all, so he cannot truly relate. I just put my father in hospice care this week, mom says she wants him to pass bcause he has no quality of life anymore, so im assisting her with her grief process, it brings back so many traumas and memories of my journey w my first partner. Ugh! But i knew what i was signing up for when i moved mom in w us and i want to b here for her. I know this journey so well. Im hoping by going through this journey w her, i can help her and maybe it is sent to me to help me process my grief too. The past 8 yrs have been so difficult and painful as i struggle to handle missing my old life and friends, trying to move on and create something new and wonderful, trying to figure out what i want to do as a career, how to b good partner to new love, struggling with would he b better off without me, setting him free, maybe i made a mistake when allowing him into my life. Maybe i wasnt/not ready for new partner like i thought. Trying to have faith everything is working out for the best. Try so hard to stay strong and healthy for everyone. Keep all the plates spinning and not drop any. I wish everyone peace and warmth and love.
  • Cathy
    commented 2015-12-24 06:50:32 -0800
    Holding you, and all of us, in thoughts this holiday season. Yes, it is so hard to paste that smile on and be gracious, but we can do it, if only for a day. Peace to all.
  • Lynn Keyser
    commented 2015-12-23 17:59:00 -0800
    Sending you love & hugs. This is a struggle none of us could prepare for and it will continue despite our best attempts to “move on”