Thursday, December 27, 2012

Have a holly, guilty Christmas

Yesterday, after a full day of sitting at home with the kids, opening presents and playing with those presents, and then picking up after all those presents time and time again, we started to get all 5 children ready for bed. As I was helping my 6 year old, Faith, I asked her if she had a good Christmas. She nodded quickly with a smile and I added, “Best one yet?” She nodded again.

Suddenly, I regretted asking her that. And for a split second I was hurt by her response. Of course I did my best to give her the best Christmas I could, but Christmas will be forever missing her daddy. And that’s something I can’t give back. And, I’m thrilled that she enjoyed our first Christmas as a family of 7, with two new sisters and wonderful dad in her life that love her immensely.  But my regret came from feeling like I made her choose between her life before and her life now. Obviously, that’s absurd but that’s how I felt in the moment.

As a widow, I am always careful about using phrases like “best day ever” or “best time ever” because it always feels like that is somehow disrespecting the life I had with Jeremy.  Like if I say it, it means Jeremy suddenly means less to me. So I steer clear of theses phrases of absolutes. I surprised even myself when I asked Faith if she had the best Christmas ever. I got caught up in the joy of a child-like excitement and when I heard her answer, it suddenly brought me back to reality.

I don’t want that to bother me. I want all of our kids to be able to have the best Christmas ever. When I really sat on it, I realized that I, too, enjoyed Christmas this year. What a far cry that has been from my last two Christmas’ and I was so thankful to have a happy home this year and to make new memories and new traditions. Even though grief is always hovering, there was a lot of joy too. But enjoying it made me feel guilty.

I’d hate to think that my best moments are behind me.  I have wonderful memories, but I know I’m not done making them. And so, I smile knowing that I can make good memories still, even some of my best, without comparing the life I had with Jeremy.

I’m glad Faith had the best Christmas ever.  And I think Jeremy is glad, too. 


  1. Vee, you said this so well. I, too, had a wonderful Christmas... a far cry from the solitary Christmas Eve and morning I chose to spend at my late husband's and my favorite hotel last year. I met someone new 6 months ago and have fallen in love with him. His 15 year old son is an integral part of my life as well, and brought a whole other aspect to Christmas this year as well. My love asked me on Christmas night if it was a hard day, and I was able to respond that it was at times, but over all it was so joyous and wonderful and filled with love. And I hadn't suspected that. And immediately felt a little guilty that I wasn't pining away for Greg, full of tears and sobs. But I feel in my heart of hearts that Greg wouldn't want that for me... that while it might have been appropriate last year for me, not feeling that way this year has no baring whatsoever on my love for him.

  2. Thank you for your post. This was my 1 year anniversary without my Roger. I too have found a new love. At times I feel guilty about being happy. But I know Roger would want me to.