Friday, December 28, 2012

My Christmas Gift

It’d be impossible to explain to a non-widowed person how I can be sad and happy at the same time or how having many of our shared friends over at the house – OUR house – is both wonderful and miserable simultaneously.  While it seems obvious to me why it’s appropriate, it’d be a train wreck to suggest that we set one more place setting for that one very special person who is with us but isn’t going to eat any food, not even desert.  No one is going to even see my sad eyes late that evening when the lights go out on unstuffed stockings.

On Christmas morning, not one of my friends or her friends thinks about that absolutely perfect present that’s not sitting on my pillow when I wake up.  No one misses that wonderful smile and happy clap that signals I nailed my gift for her.  And not one person in my world realizes how much I miss her and what a huge part she played in my life and how loud her absence is on every single day of the holidays while it seems like all the other families are celebrating their perfect little Christmas gatherings.  All those other families, with their happy gift unwrapping and their family bickering and their taken-for-granted togetherness have no clue how much I would sacrifice just to have one miserable, boring, regular ol’ plain Christmas with my sweet wife.  Just one more time.  One more time.

I say the following because maybe I’m trying to tell you or trying to tell myself but nonetheless, I say it and I mean it.  My gift to myself is that I recognize that I am one of the few that walk this earth who have experienced true, deep, passionate, respectful, honest love.  That experience and that love can never be taken away.  I win and I lose. Thus, I’ve been given more gifts and more riches than most people will ever know.  For that, I am thankful.  For that, I count my blessings.  I may have not had a Christmas present sitting on my pillow on Christmas morning, but I have a very wonderful gift sitting forever in heart that can never be taken away.  For I have known and shared in true love.  There’s no greater gift than that.


  1. Chris, you "nailed" a beautiful post and such a wonderful tribute to your dear sweet Maggie. And, yes, I would give anything to have just one more boring, ole' Christmas with my very much loved husband. Just one....

    Thank you!!!!

  2. I feel the same Chris. Shortly after my husband died a friend said to me "do you know how lucky you are? You had the greatest love, a true friendship, passion and you had it with the same person for 36 years! Some people never have that for even a day in their whole lives"
    It is true.
    I think of that every day. We promised we would love each other "until death do we part"
    We did that.
    His last words were "i love you so much"
    How could any gift on earth compare.
    So as much as I would give up years of my life to have him back for just a few moments. I am deeply grateful for what I have had.
    There really is no greater gift than that kind of love.

  3. Thank you for speaking to my heart this morning. Today would have been my 44th wedding anniversary. I'm a bit sad but you gifted me with the thought of that perfect gift that will forever be with me in my heart. I totally agree that there is no greater gift than a shared love. With that I was greatly blessed.

  4. I will say that I hate being a winner and a loser, lol. Christmas was both happy and sad. I enjoyed it because of kids but I was sad because he was not there to share in their joy.

  5. I appreciate what you wrote because your words express my thoughts perfectly. I don't know how long you have been widowed but after seven years I have experienced peace this year. I do believe my husband is with me, my kids and our beautiful grandchildren who will never know what a wonderful granddad they have. Not to be a downer, but the sadness is never completely gone, but like you said, I am so grateful for the most perfect gift ever, his love.

  6. My sentiments exactly. Moments of such deep sadness this holiday season, moments when my "aloneness" was so brightly highlighted, and also moments when I tried out new traditions - some with friends, some on my own and when I sat at the head of my table and hosted Christmas dinner.

    I could sit back in those happier moments and reflect on how far I've come and know that it was/is his love that gives me the strength and confidence to try to have a joyful, satisfying life because that love will always be with me and inside of me. A little ember that glows.

  7. Chris:

    Thank you for giving me a perfect Christmas gift. You put my feelings about my first Christmas without Charlie into words.


  8. Beautifully said Chris..I lost my husband Danny 2 years ago 2 days before Thanksgiving. We were married 44 years. I also sat back this year and felt so Blessed to have shared such a wonderful love and experience. May God Bless us all this year..His Grace is Perfect!!

  9. Ah, Chris...
    When I read your posts I pretend they were written by my husband and I was the first one to pass. We shared a love like you describe and I don't think I will ever find anything close to it again. Thank you for reminding me that this love can never be taken away.

  10. Thank you for a lovely post and for the gift it also was to readers-expressing deeply held feelings. Yes, it is this way on Christmas and on birthdays I think. Our loved ones remain forever in our heart.
    Thanks. May you know that your posts bring solace at this time year.

  11. Thank you so much for this post. It's only been 7 months for me but, this season, while his absence is SO loud... it's also so beautifully peaceful and quiet.
    I was blessed to have been loved, and forever changed because I was/am Dana's wife. I knew this from the day I met him. It wasn't something I learned after his death! I have a gift no one else will ever have, get or give.
    And I am so humbled and grateful for it.

  12. I too was lucky enough to experience thatrue reality of love for and from my Suzie. I was just too self centered at the time to understand what a true gift it was. Now i would give anything to experience that total sharing with her again even for a moment. Maybe someday we will be together again but I have a strong suspicion she went up the elevator and I'm definitely heading down so far.. at the realization has changed the way I look at life, love everything, so again she is even helping me with my life by dying...I MISS YOU Suez. sleep WELL WITH THE ANGELS..

  13. I love this post, it really is perfect. I too live in a state of contradiction; profound grief at my loss, yet joy and appreciation for the years of love we shared. Of all the blogs and online support websites, Widow's Voice has been so very helpful. Thank you.

  14. Very, very beautiful, Chris.

  15. Absolutely Perfect. And even though you say "not one person in your world realizes how much you miss her...please know that I and your SSLF widowed network understand and are right there with you.

  16. Chris, I could not have said it better! You words are perfect and so true! As widowed people we get it while others sit ingnorance!

  17. Thankyou for this. Approaching 3rd christmas and still not sure how I am going to deal with it. x