I haven’t written a blog in about a month. Honestly I haven’t had the energy to even think about it. It’s been a trying few weeks. Holiday season is tough and it’s my first time experiencing it as a widow. I’ve noticed that sometimes the anticipation of a holiday, or really any special occasion/event, can be just as bad (if not worse) than the actual day itself. It causes extreme sadness and high anxiety and basically you are dreading it.
I’m going to talk about 5 things that I’ve experienced leading up to Christmas that I’m sure most widows have to cope with, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
1. Being asked what my plans are for Christmas.
I have a job where I come into contact with a lot of people each day. We make small talk, we chat about life, friends, and of course family and the upcoming holiday. Every time I’m asked if I’m ready for Christmas (which most people mean as, “have you gotten your gifts purchased yet?”) I think, “Ready? I could never be ready or prepared for this.” I’m not mad at them for asking, not at all, they don’t know what I’m going through(or at least most don’t). I’m also asked many times what I’ll be doing on Christmas Day, and while I’m extremely thankful that I will get to see my stepchildren open their gifts and spend time with them, there is still a huge void in my heart, in many of our hearts. I physically ache for my husband and I know others do as well. So small talk about plans for the holidays isn’t “small” for people who are grieving.
2. Coming across the perfect gift/s for him.
Yep, I still look. In fact I long to be able to buy him gifts. I always loved to think of something that he would love but either has never asked for or something he mentioned randomly one time and I took note. I loved to see his face when he opened it, it was the best. While many people consider it a hassle to shop and find something for their spouse, believe me, it’s something you would miss greatly should it ever be gone. It’s hard to comprehend that I’ll never get to do that again.
3. On that same note but flipped…knowing you won’t have your spouse picking out something they thought was perfect for you.
My husband gave me some very thoughtful gifts through the years, things he thought of completely on his own. I will miss wondering what sweet surprise he will have for me. Yes, I will receive gifts from friends and family, but it’s not the same as your spouse.
4. Wrapping gifts and only writing your own name.
That was one thing I hadn’t thought of before it creeped up. I went to write it and there it was, just “From Nora” instead of “From Nora and Erik” or “From Nora and Daddy”. It’s a small thing and one you don’t even think about until you go to write on the first gift and I thought, “Wow, it really is just me.”
5. Getting all the family holiday cards from friends and family.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t want people to stop sending me those. That’s definitely not the case. I’m still very happy for others but it does make me long for my life back and tugs at the heart strings to see smiling families all together and I wonder why I had to lose mine.
So this holiday season be extra kind to people. Smile at them, say a kind word, anything…you never know what someone may be going through and maybe you can ease the pain, if even just for a moment.