It’s that time of year again. Fa-la-la-la-not. Oh, I know, that sounds so very Scrooge-like, doesn’t it? Don’t worry, I’m not really a Scrooge, and under normal circumstances I actually love the holiday season. Unfortunately, since Melanie ran ahead to heaven, there is nothing normal about this time of year. I’m still trying to figure out just how to survive the holidays.
This is the second year without my girl, and Thanksgiving is just a mere 16 days away, with Christmas close behind.
A couple of weeks ago I got the bright idea that we should run away to a beautiful, warm island for Thanksgiving. Oh, I’m sorry, some people call that vacation, don’t they? For me, it’s more like running away and it sounded like a great idea at the time. Today, not so much.
So, how can we survive the holidays? It’s so hard after loss, and truth be told, even though we may choose another destination, there probably really is no escaping it. I know I will take Melanie with me in my heart, along with our memories, no matter where I go.
For some grievers, traveling to another destination for the holidays is a great escape. Yes, it can be compared to running away, but sometimes being in a different location than the home where you shared so much, helps to ease a little of the ache from the void left behind. And guess what? If you choose to run away, there is no shame in it at all!
This year I thought the waves of grief might just remain at bay. Overall, my heart has been quiet and peaceful recently, and I had so hoped it would remain that way. Sadly, that is not the case. But, that’s exactly when it hits you – from out of nowhere. Grief is sneaky like that.
What do I want? I want to be exactly who I was before grief came knocking on my door. Unfortunately, grief doesn’t take a holiday.
So, what should we do? For me, I will do whatever my grieving mama’s heart wants to do. There may be some traditions I will continue to celebrate with my family. But there may also be others I will choose to eliminate if it brings too much pain in the remembering.
Please understand, I am no expert. I’m just another mom walking this road, missing my daughter more than ever, and figuring things out as I go. Maybe those of you who have walked this road longer can give us all some suggestions.
Whatever I choose, I know I won’t be walking this road alone. For that I remain grateful.