Surviving the Realization That Holiday Traditions Died Too

There are times when my grief brain keeps me from making a connection possibly it is protecting me from sadness and overwhelm and I am grateful for that.
 
Take yesterday for example when it hit me that when Larry died so did every tradition we created together. I had not thought about that until Christmas Day was over and I was relieved to take the tree down.
 
Losing the traditions adds to my grief, your grief, our grief. They are all gone. People kept telling me it would be different, and I must have had cotton in my ears because I plodded along decorating, listening to music, eating cookies, opening cards and making the traditional dinner.
 
The dinner is what broke me. That was when I realized it was all gone and never coming back and for a short time I wished I was gone too. Don’t get alarmed, please, these were manifestations in my mind of everything that I have lost and coping with it at times makes me wish we were together. Until you are unfortunately in the same place you won’t completely understand the pain of the reminders.  At times it all becomes so overwhelming I just go to bed.
 
That leaves me with decisions about 2020 and while I have tabled them for now I know that soon I will decide what to do with everything. We have a huge collection of special ornaments I will offer to the kids. There are many things that I can sell and/or donate.
 
That annoying tree is being boxed up today and will leave the building much like Elvis always did after his concerts.
Death does not give us lemons.  There is no lemonade to be made out of it.
While my grief brain protected me for as long as it possibly could when the realization hit me I became that person that couldn’t move.  I couldn’t function.  I didn’t want to do a damn thing.
I keep writing about how I am responsible for my own happiness but I couldn’t find any.  I did find so many tears my eyes were still swollen yesterday when I woke up.  Ugly crying lead to ugly eyes for sure.
I had presents, I had phone calls, I had Willie but I was still alone like I have been many times over the past 10 months.   I will not allow that to happen in 2020.  Without a doubt being alone in grief is the worst feeling, the worst pain I have ever felt.  I ask myself was it because I was alone or was it because I miss Larry so damn much.
I am not feeling sorry for myself, I am making myself promises that I will not allow this to be a habit.  Being alone will not be my new tradition.  This means finding new people in my life, building new friendships, finding like-minded people to set new traditions.
It might mean being in a different city, or a different country.  There is absolutely no reason for me to stay here.  I have used Willie as an excuse to not travel.  This morning I said to myself that Willie has no concept that 12/25 is Christmas, she is a dog, every day is Christmas in her life.
Yesterday a friend asked me to not use the word “never” in a thought I had shared.  I realized she is hoping I will change and embrace the season here.  I can’t do this again, not ever, so never had propelled me to find my new traditions and throw myself into them with joy because that is what Larry would want for me.  Larry will be the force behind helping me next Christmas.
He will be with me wherever I am.

Leave a Reply