I originally had the idea to log on tonight and write about the reality that is anxiety (I mean, really…Christmas!? the ambiverts most hair raising time of the year…I’m in and I’m out…I’m not a jerk, really….I’m just finished with you and want to go home to Netflix and a cup of tea…I’m bored…I’m happy…I’m bored…..karaoke…yea!! :-)….karaoke sucks….oh God…hands sweating as we speak!…you get the drift)
That’s next post. This post I wanted to discuss the darker side of the holidays that a handful of us face whether it is Christmas, Easter or our birthdays.
Oh, our birthdays….
We are the people facing the holidays without a parent. Or both parents. Or a child we lost. Or a best friend…a sibling. In my case my dad. My dad who taught me to skate, who I ran long distance with…who I cried for if he worked too late to put me to bed in the evenings as a little girl.
The first man who told me to stand up for what was right. Who pushed me to go beyond what I believed in. Who never raised his voice in all the years I was growing up.
There tends to be the awkward silence when someone that barely knows me asks about my plans, family…when I fail to mention dinner with my dad or cleverly brush over the enquires as to “what that side of my family does for the holidays” We notice the look in other people’s eyes when they share our pain and our confusion as to how to navigate this particular line of questioning.
We always notice a comrade without saying a word though, don’t we?
The slight tug in our hearts when we only have one dinner to plan and the loss feels like a heavy blade slicing through our hearts.
When our partner will never get to see the other side of where we came from.
We love the holidays….look forward to them even! The friends… the family… the food the laughs. So many laughs.
But still, two years later….the void. In ten years….still the void.
This pain is not the same as being estranged from family. It is not the same as being in a row and letting your ego take over for the evening. Because dear readers, I happen to be partially estranged from some of my family and I can attest.
It is not the same.
The choice to be separated from our loved one is stripped from us prematurely. We can’t wake up in the middle of the night and chastise ourselves and pick up the phone. We can’t make amends or hear I love you back.
What I can tell you, is that at some point this Christmas we will feel like checking out. One party will push our emotions just a tad too far. We will need to find solace with a glass of wine, alone, for 30 minutes. Maybe we will cry. But we will be fine.
We will feel the ghosts of our memories in the laughter.
We are not being antisocial. We are not being moody. We are simply remembering. We are longing in the midst of the celebrations, as beautiful as they are.
Because we know what it feels like to cherish the moment.
We might not have the energy or the emotional stamina to explain.
Please forgive us.
And, dear reader, the one who has lost…whoever you are and whoever you have lost…I want to remind you that we are in this together. The holiday will pass.
But in the meantime, soak up all the wonderful laughs and pictures and hugs. Embrace the people that are still here, remember how lucky you are.
Because we know.