Some people don’t look forward to the holidays. There are a variety of reasons but I think the death of a loved one is the toughest to overcome. Christmas is a time filled with special memories and consequently a reminder that life will never be the same. It’s another day to survive…alone. Oh sure, the happy family is milling about trying to distract them from the obvious, but family members are long gone when it’s time for bed, when they climb under the covers…
I watched my mother suffer through that first Christmas after my father died. They were married for 53 years, one of those rare, great marriages full of mutual support. They were better together than either of them would have been apart. So when Dad died, he left a huge hole in my mother’s life. She knew the first year would be difficult. Each month presented challenges with birthdays, family traditions, and holidays. Even though she was ready for it, my mom struggled to cope, crying at the drop of a hat. Once she got through that year, she expected things to improve. They didn’t.
By the time my mother was moving into the third year, she realized that the hole left by my dad wasn’t going away. Then she suprised me. She made a decision to embrace it. My mother decided that the hole was a testament to the depth of their love. She realized that it was part of her and she chose to move forward with it. Now she has passion again for the things she loves. The joy is back in her face…honestly she’s a pain in the ass. But she welcomes this holiday season.
It’s a time to celebrate….a time to celebrate the holes left in our lives by the ones we’ve loved…how lucky we were! How lucky we are.