Like many people who are challenged with grieving the loss of a loved one, the upcoming Christmas season is again emphasizing the loss of my husband in every level of my being.
It’s a daily struggle to navigate life without my beloved. I have learned that even on a day when I feel good, it doesn’t mean that I’ve been cured of my grief, because there is no cure.
Therefore, I have no choice but to find a way to embrace the concept of allowing grief to co-exist with joy, so that even with feeling heartache and pain, I can enjoy moments of joy, laughter, and . . . smile through the tears.
I could tell you it’s been easy to have grief and joy co-exist with each other, and that it gets better each day, because time heals all wounds, but that would be fiction filled with empty platitudes.
It does not get easier or better with time, however, with time, patience, and a sense of humour, I am finding a balance with handling both as I . . . smile through the tears.
I am going to share how I am preparing for the Christmas season in the hopes that it will help another person who is struggling with the challenges of pushing through each day of the holiday season.
Something that I personally find helpful; not only to steer my way through any holiday, but also through my daily life is; changing my routine, creating new traditions, releasing any and all idea of what “normal” is, or what it used to be, because there is no normal when it comes to grieving, and at the same time, keeping my cherished husband’s memory and image in my mind and heart as I . . . smile through the tears.
MEMORY FILLED ADVENT PILLOW.
I grew up with the advent calendar tradition for the days leading up to Christmas, and each day I enjoyed a chocolate kiss candy, so I used this idea and added my own twist, creating a new tradition with the Christmas Advent Pillow.
Each day, beginning December 1st, I will pull out a note from the pockets of the pillow that holds a treasured memory of my life with my husband, along with a list of what I am grateful for on that day, as I have also found an attitude of gratitude has helped me handle my grief.
On December 1st I pulled out the first memory and relived that moment in time when my cheeks burned with mortification under my green face (homemade avocado mask), and how my husband’s sense of humour, love and support got me through an embarrassing situation (or what David loved to call them “Lucy moments”) I . . . smiled through the tears.
As I opened the flood gates, remembering all our adventures, my heart and soul once again filled with love and gratitude for the life we had together, and with each memory, I . . . smile through the tears.
I’m still a work in progress and I know I will never nail the concept of having joy co-exist with grief perfectly, or navigate this new life without finding it unbearable at times, but you know what? I’m okay with that.
In the past I have blogged about life with my husband and my “Lucy moments,” and as I re-read them, I . . . smile through the tears.
Here are a few memories if you’d like to read them:
Always on my mind, forever in my heart, the sunshine in my soul.
I love you, Mr. Rugged