Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Ho, Ho .......


...... Humbug.

This post is for all of you who are more than relieved that Christmas Day is done.  Over.  Finished.  For 364 more days.

I hope that you experienced what I usually experience:  the actual day that I dread goes a lot smoother than I expect.  The days leading up to it and all of the stress in those days seem to build and build ...... until the day actually arrives.
And then I find that it's over sooner than I expected.
I survived another "big day" ...... and it actually was easier than I anticipated.

December is hard.
There's no doubt about it.  This month is full of all kinds of land mines.  And that's for basically anyone.
Add a widowed person into the mix and you've got 31 days of potential nuclear carnage.
And then there's the extra oh-so-lucky "club" members who's "death day" just happens to fall somewhere in this month.
We'd prefer to just sleep through the holidays, thank you very much.

But here it is, December 26th ...... we made it through another difficult day.
Even though some of us are a little pissed that the Mayans were wrong and we're still here.

We cried our fair share of tears.  And then some.
Our hearts ached for who wasn't there.
But we're still here.
We survived.

And though you may not believe this, and don't like hearing it from "non-members" ...... you are stronger than you think you are.  You can't help it ...... it just happens.  You survive another day ...... you wake up stronger the next.  You may not feel that strength, but it's there. It grows quietly and slowly.  So slowly that it's imperceptible.  Until one day, further down the road.  On that day you'll glance behind you ...... and see how far you've come.  You'll be surprised by the distance.  
And you'll be surprised at the number of people behind you ...... who watch you with hope.

Until that day, just breathe and keep putting one foot in front of the other.  And know that the days leading up to the "hard days" ...... are usually worse than that day itself. 

You've just made it through a pretty difficult one.  So get some rest.  
You deserve it.
And you'll need it ...... because we have another one next week.

Two holidays in one week.
Ho, ho ...... humbug.


  1. Janine, :) Thank you for the Christmas note, not so thrilled about the New Year reminder... how did I forget New Years ah yes I wanted to forget it.

  2. Janine _ thanks for putting a smile on my face.
    Really _ i went to a movie last night and then came home and cried for an hour,
    This is my third Christmas.
    My love died November 2nd 2010.
    Yesterday - it felt like yesterday. Not exactly but raw and sad and the only solution was bed, curled into bed and stayed there at ten p.m.
    first thing I did this morning was take down half of my Christmas decorations.
    Now I feel a bit better,

    YOu are out there on the road ahead. I trust your map.
    I am on the road, just a ways behind.
    One day I hope to catch up.

  3. I feel you on this and truly feel every statement you made. This one line "And you'll be surprised at the number of people behind you ...... who watch you with hope" brings tears to my eyes. I never thought of this and have just put myself in their place for the first time!! (watching me grow and transform). It's always great to read things and let myself see things from a different perspective!! So interesting. Thank you!!


  4. I'm among the "luckiest" -- my husband died on Christmas Eve 2010. But opposed to watching out for land mines, this year I waited for them armed for battle. How is there life without pain? Besides, better to meet the "enemy" head on. And I felt all the stronger for it. Wasn't so bad after all.

  5. This is my first year alone. My husband died four month ago. I liked reading this because I felt guilty for feeling so sad, lonely, crappy, and feeling that people don't give a darn about me. And now I know that most poeple who have not lost a spouse they loved have NOT A CLUE about how hard it is. I am just so disgusted at the lack of empathy from my friends. And they are good people. They just ran along with their familied and nere a few bothered to see how I was doing on Christmas. I have no kids, no family, just a father in law with dementia. And when asked what I was doing for Christmas, I said I was spending four day with my father in law wih dementia. Thier reply was "Oh, that will be nice." I felt like screaming. And by nature I am usually a very gentle person...but my husbands death made me sooooooooo sad and helpless.

  6. I happened upon this blog searching for advice on how a widow can start dating again. I can't read enough! It is so comforting to hear that others still cry at Christmas. That the grief process is so universal. That I'm not alone. After 4 years my friends and even my family don't talk about how I must still miss my husband of 36 years. Why wouldn't I? He was part of every event for all those years and part of me. I'm proud of myself, though. I put one foot in front of the other everyday. I keep moving forward and yes, I too curl up in bed on occasion and don't want to face the world. I wonder if that ever stops?

  7. Janine, I always love your blogs. They really resonate with me.

    My husband died on December 31st, 2010. I know that my grief is no worse than anyone else's but it drives me crazy that the whole world celebrates the day I lost him. It's the biggest party day of the year for everyone but me. That's a really tough way to spend the anniversary of his death. Watching everyone else party through my tears.

    But like you, I put one foot in front of the other every day and, at this point, I do think I'm an inspiration for those who are following along behind me in this journey. They see the progress I've made over the last two years and I'm optimistic that it gives them hope for their own future.

    I have enough widows and widowers in my family that I think most of my family gets it, but I've actually gotten more support from friends who have never been in my shoes. Odd but true. I'll take the support wherever I can get it!

  8. My "date" is January 3, 2007. We called Hospice Christmas Eve day; they did the intake on Christmas day. December is so very hard for me. A little easier each year, but still hard. It helps that I'm building new traditions, mostly around my son and daughter-in-law and her family. I think that's one of the things that get me through each year - making new memories and traditions to carry me forward.

    Remembering the old traditions still makes me sad, though. I miss those days.

  9. Janine, great post!!!! I am so happy that my third Christmas as a widow is in the record books. Truly, as you have pointed out, I am stronger than the first two Christmas's, but not by much. Most of my anger and disappointment circles around my family who continues to think I should have stopped crying after year one! That makes me crazy. But, alas, like others responders pointed out, these family members have not a clue.

    Every year, I wish at least one of them would get a visit from the ghost of "Christmas future" so they could potentially feel my pain and know the depth of my loss for both myself and my children. What a wake up call!

    The ignorance, indifference, and sometimes disrepect that surrounds those that have lost spouses and children, just sucks!