Did you just hear that collective sigh of relief? Judging from the many messages on my Widow Facebook Group page that was the millions of surviving widows relieved that Christmas is over. I’m sure we were joined in a chorus of sighs by many other hurting souls.
I am one of the lucky ones, because I have the child who can still delight in the day. I can focus on her face as she enjoys every magic light and every special gift. But I’m still feeling that relief.
I say “holidays” not because I’m afraid to offended by singling out Christmas, but because I’m referring to Christmas, and Thanksgiving, and New Year’s, and many other special days. These days when many are celebrating the gifts they have while others are remembering the gifts they had.
The expectation that these days will be enjoyed, often come with the post holiday disappoints. While those particularly in the first few years after a loss, who knew the day would be hard are breathing a sigh of relief. Some who somehow still expected a present or a call from a still living loved one that did not materialize had additional disappointment yesterday, but as a whole we all seem to be relieved that we can return to just bearing the losses of the normal day.
If you know someone in this situation don’t ask them to snap out of it and if you are grieving during the holidays be easy on yourself. Enjoying the holidays is not something you can force no matter how hard you try, and missing someone and the life you had with them is just part of new life.
I started this holiday season, which for me includes Thanksgiving, Christmas and American New Year’s, with every intention of enjoying everything it had to offer. But just a few days into it, the joy of the season reminded me of the wonderful days we had before he died, and all Zoya and I lost that would never be returned. It sent me crashing under another tsunami wave of sadness.
You can’t choose when grief will strike. Grief changes with time, but it isn’t something you finish. It is something you live with, learn from, and adapt to as you continue to seek the good in life.
Focusing on the good doesn’t mean denying the evil. It is recognizing that there is good and evil, and choosing where you will direct your attention. It is recognizing that He prepares a table before you in the presence of your enemies and that He fills your cup to overflowing is my new favorite picture depicts.
Sometimes the good is just that you survived the day and that is why you hear that sigh of relief.