Saturday, December 18, 2010

Getting through the holidays

I decided I needed to take time off work so I wouldn't have to be there for the holiday lunches and parties. Everyone else is in full celebration mode and I'm not. I miss Vern and our life together and I'm trying to figure out who I am now that I'm alone. The holiday season is all about families and togetherness and making memories. I'd like it all to just be over, but then that will just take me closer to Vern's birthday and another celebration I must figure out how to get through. So I headed out of town with Jeremy to the Florida Keys - a place Vern & I had never visited. It was a nice time for Jer and I, and we toasted Vern and talked of how much he would have enjoyed that beautiful place. There were some tears, but I wasn't overwhelmed with sadness. I enjoyed taking some tours on my own and felt I was making some progress with my new 'aloneness'. We also got to see my oldest brother while in Florida and Jer met cousins he's never seen. Before heading back to Las Vegas, we made a quick stop in Michigan to see the rest of my family. It was nice to see everyone, but I felt I had to behave like I do at work ... put on a 'happy face', pretend all is well, be strong, don't cry, don't make anyone feel uncomfortable. No one mentions Vern's name, even though I brought him up a few times, but I've read this is very normal behavior. I was ready to get back home, and I greeted Vern when I walked in the house. It feels good to be back here with him.

I don't return to work until Dec. 27 so I'll need to figure out how to get through next week. I'm not decorating ... Jer is fine with not having a tree this year and since I have no grandchildren, no one else will miss it. There are just too many memories with putting up the tree and the special ornaments we've collected during the past 41 years. I have some projects to get started, so I'm hoping I'll accomplish some things and be distracted enough to get past the holidays.

I'm still reading some recommended grief books, which I'm finding quite helpful, and I enjoy the support of the weekly online bereavement chat group. I still have my 'grief bursts' - which I know are normal and natural - and I sometimes feel just overwhelmed with sadness when hearing about new cancer diagnoses or deaths of friends and co-workers.  But, overall, I think I'm doing ok ... one step at a time.

1 comment:

Susie Hemingway said...

It is without doubt the most difficult time ever, the pain is almost unbearable. I keep turning down invites as I cannot bear to keep smiling when I can hardly breathe for the pain.

I am with you Dear Dianne, as we face these days together. I have to make an effort for my family who will be just too sad seeing me this way. So many well meaning friend keep making wonderful suggestions but nothing I know will ever be right again for me, with H gone. We miss them both unbearably...

Although everyone thinks I am doing so well, I find it like you, a strain to keep smiling. I believe we are much the same in so many ways, prefering to grieve in private. Everyone says what wonderful men they were - well we just want them back don't we!

I wonder where all the tears come from?
Now I will go and clean a few cupboards or something - to make me tired.
Blessings dear one x