I'm not sure why, but it has been difficult for me to write about my experience with the holidays. Perhaps I have fallen into the trap of believing I should have done 'better by now. My best effort follows this section.
Despite what we may have been told, we each grieve in our own way and in our own time-frame. Grief ebbs and flows and I suspect some aspects may remain with us forever .be
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
2015 marks my third holiday season alone. I would like to tell you that I have recovered, moved on, and that I don't miss Dick much. The truth? I have recovered some, I have moved on some, and I still miss him a lot, especially during holidays, anniversaries, and birthdays.
Unable to focus at times lately, I have reverted to making mistakes and losing things. I have not decorated—too busy. Maybe I 'should' have done so. Perhaps I still will.
More truth: I'm in no great hurry to recover, move on, and miss Dick less. Sometimes I worry I will forget the nuances of him. The process of writing Together Through Korea and Alzheimer's has kept me focused on him for eighteen months.
A friend asked, "Are you obsessed with him?"
I responded, "Probably. That's okay with me, for now."
My first holiday season alone in 2013 was blessed by an invitation to visit family in Washington. Our grandson and his wife urged me to participate in family and friend celebrations that week only to the extent I chose. What a relief! I would not feel tempted to fake enthusiasm when sadness threatened to drown my face in tears.
In my room, I comforted myself with items I had stowed in my purse: Dick's wedding ring and a few special notes he had written to me over the years. Studying photos of him consoled me even as I cried.
During my second holiday season alone in 2014, with no family present, I enjoyed the major holiday dinner with friends and then rushed home to 'spend the day with Dick' surrounded by reminders of him. I had put up lights outdoors but had done little decorating inside. I played Handel's MESSIAH for the first time and remembered listening during our holidays together. I scaled a hurdle by choosing to hear another piece of our favorite music on that difficult day.