It’s almost the holiday season. One week until Christmas and little over a month until Christmas time.
For me, this holiday season is going to be a lot different than the ones in the past. This is the first Christmas without my mom.
Since my mom died in February, there are so many firsts that I experienced without her. First Easter without her. First Mother’s Day without her. First birthday without her, and first time not buying her a present for her birthday.
Now that Christmas is rolling around, it’s starting to hit me that my mother is truly gone. Not that it hasn’t during the last few months, but it’s cutting me a bit deeper now than ever before. For the first time, I am not buying ten bottles of Bath and Body hand soap and body sprays. I am not buying the latest Cape Light novel (her favorite) to read. And, she won’t be decorating our Christmas tree with her beads this year.
And, it makes me miss her more than I have in a while.
I am going to be honest. If you asked me last year that this would be the last holiday I would share with my mom, I would have thought that you were crazy. My mom was only 57 when she died, so I thought there would be more time left with her.
Many people call this the most wonderful time of year. For those who are grieving and going through the grief process, it’s the hardest. It is especially hard for those who are experiencing a “first” like I am. This first is all a part of the new normal that I am creating for myself. This year, I am most likely not putting up our large tree — although I will admit that is in part of the fact that I have a puppy and I am afraid that she’s going to knock the tree and the glass ornaments down. This year, my mom and I will not be eating cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. Instead, I will be starting my own traditions.
While these new traditions are great, it still reminds me of the fact that my mom is gone. Even though it’s been about ten months since she died, it still hurts. And, I am allowed to feel sad about loss.
So, if you know someone who is grieving the loss of a loved one this holiday season, be sure to reach out to them during this holiday season. Please understand that these days may be hard for them. Please let them decide what is right for them, versus what you think may be right. For example, my grandfather when he first lost my grandmother last year didn’t want to celebrate the holidays because it was too hard on him. I am pretty sure I want to be surrounded by family, because being alone is just a reminder of what I lost. Please remind them to self care and to express their feelings. Do not make them feel like they could not feel their emotions, because they are perfectly valid.
While my holiday plans are up in the air, I do plan to visit my mom’s grave this holiday season so I can have a few moments with my mom. Maybe I’ll even bring a cinnamon bun.