White flag

December 24, 2008

Today, Christmas Eve, is usually my favorite day of the year.  I have a treasure trove of sweet memories – family gatherings, of candlelit church services, holiday lights, stockings, carols, the smells of evergreen and spices, walks in the snow.  I usually put a lot of time and effort into making this day as warm and festive as possible.  But as the last few days have gone by and I’ve watched myself get sadder, crankier, and less fun to be around, I’ve been nearly frantic about making it through the remaining dregs of this year.  I am not myself, something that seems to surprise no one but me.

Yesterday I gave up, and it’s probably the best thing I could have done for myself.  I gave up trying to spread holiday cheer, trying to be good at my job, trying to pretend that this Christmas is all about joy and light.  I admitted that what I really want this holiday season is to be at home, warm and happy, playing and snuggling with Teddy.  And I admitted that I’ve yet to find peace in not having that, and that this is a large part of the reason I’m so horrible lately.  I held myself together through most of work, though tears kept leaking through, and then I went home and cried in N’s arms.

Then the downstairs ceiling started to leak – it’s stopped now and we still don’t know what caused it – and it seemed like everything was falling apart so I cried some more.

We picked up some Thai food and watched an episode of Monk, which is brilliant in many ways – all about being broken by loss and grief, and about surviving in spite of (and partly because of) being broken, and it’s funny enough to make us both laugh.

Right now, I have to accept my own brokenness.  I have to accept that my main focus right now can’t be to make other people feel good.  If I manage to do that, great.  But for the next few days I’m waving my white flag and just concentrating on getting through the hours.  If it takes steamy romance novels, too much gin, too much ice cream or chocolate, more crying, or another season of West Wing, I’m open to all of that.  And if I’m not my usual Christmas-elf self tonight, I’m going to accept that, too. And I’m not going to hate myself for any of this. I’ve been merry for many a year.  This year, I just need to survive.

What I am going to do: stock the liquor cabinet (I’m thinking hot buttered rum), cook something nice and simple for dinner, pick up a couple of cheap plastic sleds with N so that we can take advantage of the snow and of my day off tomorrow, fill the bird feeders, let myself feel whatever happiness or sadness comes my way, light lots of candles, and remember our boy.

I would wish you happy holidays, except that, if you’re reading this blog, happy holidays may be out of reach.  I will wish then, that some happiness, peace, hope and sweetness finds you as the year winds to a close, that there’s some light in all of this darkness for you, and some comfort amidst this cold.


One comment

  1. Thank you, friend. Love to you at this dark time of a dark year.

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