For the past week or so, with the encouragement of my husband, I’ve been trying to come up with a plan for the holidays. A plan is supposed to help me get through them without becoming a complete basket case. But this whole process has been hard and painful and tedious. I’ve been trying to look closely at myself and evaluate where I’m at, which has left me feeling disappointed, frustrated and angry.
I’m disappointed that I’m such a selfish narcissistic person, irritated that I just seem to be standing still, and angry about, well, lots of things, but the biggest thing right now: that I didn’t try hard enough.
When he was alive I just didn’t try hard enough to include him in my life. I didn’t take every opportunity to involve him, to engage him. I sat back and watched from a distance. I didn’t call or write or text. I just didn’t do enough. And even though I know why I did it that way, and would likely approach it the same way today, I’m still feeling angry with myself. And, as a result, yet again, I find myself feeling undeserving; that I have no right to grieve that which I did not truly appreciate.
Couple these feelings with what the literature says about how to get through holidays, things like “keep their place at the table” or “put out your photo album to share and re-experience the good times” or “buy a gift he’d like, but give it to someone else,” and I feel paralyzed. I can’t do any of those things. I never had a place for him at the table. I don’t have photos with memories attached. I wouldn’t know what gift to get. What it all really comes down to is this:
I didn’t let him know how important he is...
And, oh, how sad that makes me…
So, right now I’m feeling both angry and sad, but we do have a plan. Tom & I will participate in community events, but we will keep Christmas Day to ourselves - a day reserved for a private celebration.
I will start every day with gratitude in my heart and on my lips, for what I have and for what I have been given. I will spend time with those I love sharing laughter and creating memories to be cherished in the days ahead. And I will let those in my life know how important they are to me, so I never have to go through this again.