It’s a paradox really-that grieving hearts can be more anxious and more sorrowful BEFORE and AFTER a milestone day, birthday or holiday than on the day itself.
That’s not true for everyone, but it’s a frequent comment in our closed bereaved parent groups.
Fearful anticipation of how awful it MIGHT be can work me up into a frenzy.
The day of whatever it is usually passes quicker than I thought it could especially if there is a big meal involved and lots of people milling about.
Then everyone leaves and quiet darkness ushers in space and silence.
That’s the moment my heart recounts all the places Dominic should have been but wasn’t. That’s when I think of how his baritone voice was missing from the conversation, his laugh from the chorus of merry makers, his opinion from the slightly heated volley over politics or another current event.
I guess it’s kind of a holiday hangover without the booze.
But there’s no strange concoction I can drink to rid me of these symptoms.
Instead I have to give my heart permission to take out each feeling and FEEL it. I have to acknowledge that even when I spend the day laughing and enjoying family and friends, I still miss Dominic.
So I try to build a day (or two!) of recovery into my holiday planning.
And that’s OK.
Whenever possible that’s exactly what I do.
So you won’t find me rushing out to shop the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas or any of our own family’s unique grief anniversaries.
Instead I’ll wake slowly, drink coffee and watch the sunrise.
I might take a walk, read a book or write in my journal.
I will definitely find moments of solitude to acknowledge that once again I have survived what I thought I might not.
And for that, I’m grateful. ❤