Celebrating through the grief

christmas in the snowI’ll admit it, I have never been a cheerful person. It’s just not my personality. In fact, those kinds of people who are constantly cheerful and chipper often make me want to run them over with my car, back and forth. But I am not saying that I don’t try at least to be in a good mood. I am not angry, I don’t go out of my way to be insulting or rude. I just don’t have that hyper cheery nature and that works for some people. I have never been a big fan of Christmas, even as a child it wasn’t my favorite day of the year. I actually like Halloween, but more I like birthdays. Birthdays are special because you don’t have to spread out your time, there’s no rush, and that one person feels special. Today would have been Lance’s birthday, I suppose it still is.

This year has been especially hard, 2012 will be remembered. Besides the loss of my brother, I have separated from my Mother. It was a hard thing to do and perhaps soon I will be able to talk more about that. But it was something that needed to be done for a long time for the both of us. However because of that I wasn’t able to see my sister or little brother for the holidays and that was really hard. I have been trying to mentally get ready for the celebrations and talk of family time, knowing that I would miss my own special people. This year my gift was the one of getting to know my Grandmother and Aunt, talking to my Dad and knowing I have them in my life now but I would have loved to have been able to spend Christmas with them, go up with them and let the dogs run in the snow and sit with my Grandmother and listen to her stories.

Winter isn’t easy, there’s not enough light and I don’t get outside for long. The dark clouds always bring me down and even without the sadness of terrible things happening in the world I have a hard time being happy. I’ve heard the term Seasonal Depression, I get that.. it fits. I don’t care much for winter and I normally tend to hibernate. Going out in the cold hurts my joints and bones because of my Lyme and Fibromyalgia. So if I have a choice, I will stay inside in my comfy sweats with my laptop and a blanket.

So how do you get through the holidays, the dark of winter, and missing the people you love? Well I am pretty sure that letting the sadness drown you isn’t the way to get through it. I have seen how grief and depression have destroyed people, turned them into shells just waiting for their turn to die. Drinking themselves to an early grave, neglecting themselves far past the point of no return, and letting the goodness of life just fall away. I won’t be like that. I love my family far too much to let that ever happen.

One day at a time.. one step forward even if it takes all day to make it. Put the pen to paper and write a letter, you don’t have to be chipper in the letter, be yourself. I did that a few times, wrote people.. wrote to Lance, wrote to his sisters, wrote to myself, wrote to the DA who is going to be working the case against the woman who caused the accident. I wasn’t in a holiday mood, but I didn’t let that stop me from going to the parties and invites from friends. I made plans with other people every time I felt myself withdraw from the world and want to slow down. One day at a time.. perhaps if I keep that up then the spring will come sooner.

lbannerTodays is Lance’s birthday. When I woke up, it was the first thing on my mind. I wanted to roll over and pull the blankets over my head and push myself back down into sleep. That isn’t going to get me through this day or the rest of them. He’s gone… but I have to keep on living. I have to be the one who helps my children through their rough days and my husband through his. I have to keep putting in the effort not to let the sadness drown me. Get up, get dressed… yes, really dressed with deodorant and everything. Go out in the snow and throw snowballs, meet up with friends, sing to my favorite songs, move through this day the way he would have wanted me to.

One day at a time, taking time to cherish the people who are in my life. Perhaps the birthday gift Lance gave to me this year was that of awakening.

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