Well, that was more difficult than I was expecting… I knew that the holidays were going to be difficult. My first in more than 17 years “alone”, so really, my first time ever feeling this way. The loneliness was almost too much. And it’s not that I didn’t have family events that I could have attended. But that meant answering all of “those” questions. And I am just not ready to share this news with extended family who I only see 3 times a year. I can barely speak about it to close friends and family without breaking down. Add in those feelings of judgement that creep in and I don’t want to even open that door. So that means staying home alone.
Watching the Macy’s parade is my own personal Thanksgiving morning tradition. So I made myself get out of bed to watch. I saw most of it through tear-filled eyes. It highlighted so much of NYC, which was such a special place to us both. Those memories of Central Park, NYC streets, and even Macy’s itself, brought up so many gut wrenching memories and I just couldn’t handle it. And once I’m in that place, it’s difficult to pull myself out. Not even the Westminster Dog Show worked, although it helped!
Luckily, I was able to ice my swollen eyes enough to go to my immediate family’s Thanksgiving dinner. Just walking into my parents house without him almost sent me back into tears, but I pulled myself together. The very thorough breakdown of the Frozen 2 movie by my nephew helped to cheer me up. Then the rest of the night was ok. Almost normal. It’s just that he wasn’t there… Something I really need to start getting used to, I guess.
I’ve never really considered how difficult the holidays can be for some people. They’re usually such a source of happiness for me. I absolutely love all things holiday. From all the pretty houses lit up with Christmas lights, to the parties and gatherings with friends and family, Christmas trees and the movies and songs – I love it all! But this year just isn’t the same, and as much as I try, it almost feels as though it makes the dark times darker.
But, I survived Thanksgiving and have 4 more weeks of grieving and growth to prepare myself for Christmas Day. Are you struggling through the holidays, too? How do you overcome those deep, empty feelings? I know I’m not alone in this, which means that you aren’t either. So let’s find hope in that.