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Emptiness

It's that time of year again.  Seems Thanksgiving is barely over and the continued waves of grief continue to build.  I only wish I could hibernate until sometime in mid-January.  Lots of glorious uninterrupted sleep!!!  How wonderful would that be?

No holiday festivities here.  Bare, minimal hints of Christmas in the form of a candle holder, a santa bell and a Santa doll.  Oh and the wooden reindeer hanging outside.  No tree, no lights, no garland.  I gave away quite a bit of my Christmas decorations a month ago to one of my daughters who loves decorating for the holiday.  I let her have anything she wanted, including the pre-lit tree.  Wasn't anything in any of the boxes that I wanted to keep.  I'm glad she is able to enjoy them.

In thinking back over the past years, I was trying to recall when the joy and excitement faded.  Besides the obvious death knell of losing my husband, there have been other events that have added to the waning excitement of what once was a wonderful time of year.  In December of 1998, my 18YO nephew was killed in a fiery car crash.  It was very traumatic for everyone, but mostly for his mother (my sister-in-law).  He was her only child. She has never recovered.  A few years later in 2000 while traveling to my sister's home for our annual family Christmas gathering, we learned via phone that her husband had announced to her that morning that he and the kids were leaving her, the house had been foreclosed on (she had no idea), and they left her in the home with nothing more than a TV and a pillow/blanket.  In her immense pain and sorrow over the next few days, she attempted suicide.  She survived and has lived with me ever since.  My dear husband turned the car around and said "let's go get her and she can live with us."  He was saint.  

That event changed the dynamic of our traditions for ever and always.  Then my grandmother died, my mother died, my family was forever and irrevocably splintered.  DH and I decided to take the reins and become the family glue for OUR family and become the host family going forward.  We worked hard to plan and make new traditions. And now he is gone. 

I desperately miss the feeling of Christmas.  With any luck(?), I will be able to regain some of the joyfulness of the season sometime in the future.  It could happen.  But not this year.

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