The Grief Counselling ended last week and I have to admit I was sad. It was nice for a while to attend a group where everyone had been levelled to the same state of despair. That sounds mean- spirited, but it’s not meant to be. We, all the ladies in my little group, were all hurting in ways and to depths that many people cannot understand. It was a safe place to let down one’s guard, to not have to pretend about anything, and to listen with an open heart to the sorrows of another person. It was tough in some respects; sometimes I left with that awful ache I had in my heart the first few months after Kevin died. That ache is difficult to describe – it makes it hard to breathe, it threatens your sanity (is it real or imagined?) and it makes you face your own mortality. Sometimes my heart ached so badly that I would get everything in order before I went to bed at night. I’d leave the inside door unlocked (so no one had to break the lock to get in), I’d write down lists of where everything could be found (wills, safety deposit info, etc.), and do all sorts of things to make life easier for the kids, just in case I didn’t wake up in the morning. Overall, the counselling sessions helped me to understand my compulsions and, to some extent, to ease that ache.
Today was the first snowfall of the season. It is lovely and crisp and white outside. It makes it painfully apparent that there will need to be decisions made about this Christmas. For sure, we will have Christmas this year at the house. I won’t put up Kevin’s Christmas tree though. Not this year, it would simply be too hard. I bought a new tree to use this year, pre-strung with lights. Smaller – just like I feel this Christmas will be. I will bring out some of the family decorations, but it will be a modest display this year. It’s an unknown emotional plane we are heading onto, and consequently there is a lot of trepidation associated with this particular Christmas. There can be no glitches in how this goes off; there is no place for unnecessary drama or stress – I simply can’t and won’t allow it. This year, the most important aspect of Christmas will be that my little family can share in memories of love, laughter and the adventures of a life well lived. That, and the food of course.