Touched by loss. Empowered through community.

Struggle

Date: 
Monday, December 23, 2013
Posted By: 
Laura

I struggle during this time of year.  I know I’m not alone in that.  Many of us feel bombarded by the holiday commercials depicting the perfect happy family, complete with husband and wife gazing at each other lovingly, the ads for engagement rings, the joyful music, and general merriment.  Sometimes it feels like a form of torture. 

I pride myself on being able to see the glass as half full.  To be happy for what I DO have, rather than what I have lost.  I don’t allow myself much self-pity.  But at this time of year, I feel the loss more profoundly.  I shop for the gifts alone.  I put up the lights alone, I see Kev’s empty chair at Christmas dinner, and I hate it. 

My youngest son turned 6 years old on Friday.  He has now celebrated 5 birthdays without a father.  It breaks my heart.  Each year on his birthday, I am taken back to the day he was born – the pride in Kev’s eyes as he talked about watching his boys grow up together.  My son will never how happy he made his dad – how having two boys was his dream come true. Every 6-year-old boy deserves a father to guide him, and I can’t give him that.  It brings me to tears every time I think about it. 

We were engaged on Christmas morning.  We always used to joke that getting engaged on Christmas was cheesy and predictable, so of course Kev used that as a diversion, knowing I would never expect it.  He gave me a rose, and was shocked when I didn’t automatically smell it.  “Aren’t you gonna sniff it???” he said.  When I put my face close to the flower, there, within the petals, was my engagement ring.  Each year, I wish we could reminisce and laugh together about that day. 

Kev and I loved Christmas, and we decided to get married on December 27 – just one year and two days after our engagement.  This year would have been our 10th anniversary.  We only got to spend 5 anniversaries together.  As of this year, I have now spent as many anniversaries without Kev as I spent with him.  It seems wrong.  I still feel that day is as important now as it was when Kev was alive.  It will remain the best day of my life because it gave me the life with Kev and our beautiful boys in the following years.  But how do you celebrate an anniversary without the other half of your pair? 

5 birthdays, 5 Christmases, 5 anniversaries.  That’s what he’s missed, just this week alone.  I know he is with me – in my heart, in the spirit of my boys – but during this week, it doesn’t feel like enough. 

I will be back to my optimistic self.  I will rebound from this.  That’s what 5 years of birthdays, holidays and anniversaries has taught me.  But for now, I will miss him. 

Comments

Why is it do you think so much harder now? It's not like we don't miss him every other week of the year. I just passed that mark too, laura- being married as long as I've been a widow-what a sucky feeling. I find this year even harder than the last 9- I think because my boys are hurting so much. Talk about half empty- I truthfully would like to cancel the whole season:( Thanks for your words. Liz

It is hard taking the steps to move forward. My life was built around him; my best friend. I will trace old familiar territory. I loved you in life for 32 years. I will enjoy the memories and take baby steps into this new life. Thank you Lord!

Thanks Laura. The holidays hold special meaning for our lives, as they should. I thought I lost a pair of gloves this week. They were given to me by Mark on our last Christmas. When I found them I put them away and realized I could never wear them and run the risk of losing them. It seems so silly when everything that defines my life is because Mark was a part of it. But the way I felt when I thought I lost the gift of our last Christmas was unbelievable. The children and I went to see A Christmas Carol last night and the meaning of that story brought on a whole new significance. It is so hard to feel joy and peace and celebrate but I do because I can because Mark would expect me too. And when I do feel a moments peace or a second of joy I know that is because my love for him is alongside the spirit of the season. This year I wrote a long letter and put it in Marks stocking. I can't bear for it to be empty but I have to hang it anyway. So I will add a letter to it every year. I wrote to him of the joys and the accomplishments of his children and smiled and cried because I miss him too!

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