I know I’m among so many that are spending their first Christmas without a loved one. My sweet friend, Dana, brought me a poem this year, “My First Christmas in Heaven”. This time last year, she brought me the same poem because I had lost my aunt. This year, I lost my husband. Last Christmas he was very sick because of cancer and me and my family were doing everything to make Christmas special for him. He absolutely loved Christmas. It was his favorite time of year. He kept wanting to watch the old “Rudolph” and “Frosty” movies and I searched high and low until I found them and he was so excited.
We decorated cookies and the tree. Our tradition is for all the kids to help us decorate the tree. There are so many memories in those ornaments. Last year, David unwrapped each of them and we would talk about the memories attached. We all love the “Marg” ornament. My oldest, Megan, made it when she was little. It was supposed to say, “Mary had a little lamb, He died for his flock.” She had a little trouble with her “y” and it looks like a “g”. We pull it out and say, “There’s Marg!”. Christmas was difficult because of David’s struggle and pain, but he was here with a huge smile on his face. This year, we miss so much because he loved this time. His passing has left such a gaping hole. I didn’t want to really decorate, but did it for the kids. Yet, I’m so glad I did because now the house feels festive and we kept our tradition and put “Marg”on that tree!! .
When I think about David not being here, I grieve that he is missing everything. I feel like he got cheated. We found out at Thanksgiving that my oldest daughter is going to have a baby in June!!! But, I grieve that he won’t get to be grandpa here on earth and he would have been so excited to know his baby girl is having a baby! Then, reality hits me of where he is. I don’t have to grieve for him.
Today, my friend, Dana, directed to me to a song and as I heard the words, “instead of making angels in the snow, you are singing with the angels around the throne”, tears filled my eyes. This week I’ve grieved that he is not sitting at the piano practicing for the church musical presentation as he would have been every year. He would practice for hours, then go to practice at night with the music team, followed by lots of church services and I would always make sure he had just the right outfit and I was so proud of my talented husband who loved to worship and put his all into it.
I miss that so much this year. But to know that he is worshipping around the throne, literally there . . . ?! I can’t even fathom what he is experiencing!! I don’t have to grieve for him for what he is missing. I need to do my best to enjoy what I still have here.
Yes, the holiday is difficult, but I need to remember David is doing amazing! He’s not missing anything this year. Now, we have to embrace everything we have been blessed with, here!! I’m so thankful that my parents are both alive and here. I’m thankful for my children and my grand baby on the way. I’m thankful for friends and family who know this is a tough time, and send me notes of encouragement or call to check on me and the kids. Just take a minute to count your blessings, right now, and let go of the grief for a minute.
On Thanksgiving Day, I took a walk because I knew I was getting ready to loose it emotionally and didn’t want anyone else to see me and feel bad. Then, I went straight to the bathroom and fixed myself up. If someone noticed, I wouldn’t let them hug me and they knew I was holding it in and a hug would make it all gush out. I talked to friends who went through the same thing. We smile on the outside and go through all the motions, but inside our hearts are so heavy and we keep wishing they were here. I have so many friends who have lost spouses and even children this year. It has been brutal. I hope today, we can all decide to enjoy the holiday with those who are with us, as our loved ones in Heaven would want us to. Hug everyone a little closer. Let’s talk about the happy memories of our loved ones, but make new happy memories with those we still have around us. If you have to cry, do it, then wash your face, eat a cookie and thank God for the hope we have that they are in our future and one day we will celebrate with them, again.
I’ve avoided sad songs. This is the one my friend had me listen to. It will probably make you cry, but also encourage you that your spouse, your child, your parent, whoever you have lost, is celebrating in paradise and it is beyond our imagination. Take a listen, then go wrap some presents, bake some goodies and do your best to look forward to this holiday with those who are here with us as our loved ones would want us to.