Holiday Grieving Rights…

(Confessions of a Grieving Mother Blog)Wednesday, December 21, 2011

This Christmas season our family had too many changes all at one time. I finished my school semester, went to Disneyland, Wendy and Snookie moved out, my kitchen was remodeled and we were spending Christmas Eve at The Polar Express. I could barely think straight. So I came up with a few tips to help me deal with this holiday season.

Holiday Grieving Parents Rights:

            I have the right to say enough I cannot do this. This year I only put up one tree and Heather’s nativity set. No stocking or anything else. Because of so many changes all right now this was all I managed to do and I am fine with it. In 28 years of marriage I have never had such a small amount of decorations. This year that is okay.

            I have the right to tell the truth. When people ask me “How are you?” I have the right to tell them exactly what I want to. I can tell them how I feel or I can lie and tell them I am fine. Some people I share Heather with and others I just screw on my smile and act like everything is great. It makes them feel better.

            I have the right to be a Scrooge on some days if I feel like it. The biggest thing I have heard over the past few days is that I needed to change and move on. Well I can’t move on. I am sorry. You imagine yourself spending your holidays without your child forever. Not because they moved away or that they will be at the in-laws this year. But you will never spend another holiday together ever. I am not fine with spending the holidays without Heather.

            I have the right to spend the holidays where I want to spend them. This year will be going to Williams. Arizona to ride The Polar Express for Christmas Eve. We will be staying at a hotel meaning I will not be cooking dinner. I really wanted to do something completely different and away for the holidays this year. I needed to change for the sake of change and not doing the normal thing.

            I have the right to change plans in the middle of the holiday season. In the middle of all the holiday doings and finals, I remodeled my kitchen. All new appliances and countertops. This was a huge under taking so close to the holiday season. But it loos wonderful and feels good to have something new. But it was letting go of things again that was here while Heather was here and that was hard.

            I have the right to have some fun—it was okay to laugh and be joyful. Laughter was just as important as tears in the healing process. Bill and I just returned from Disneyland. We laughed and had a good time. There were a few moments of bittersweet as we went to our spot and then saw the castle all lit up at night. But it was good to be away right before the Christmas holiday. Disneyland is the Happiest Place on Earth but none more beautiful than at Christmastime.

            I have the right to do thing completely different and change some of our family traditions. Christmas was celebrated on Tuesday the 20th. This was the only night before we left that the whole family could be together. We went to Chipotle for dinner. There was no dessert, no eggnog or candy. We opened gifts at Wendy’s new apartment and it was wonderful.

            I have the right to celebrate things at different times during the day if I choose to. I don’t even begin to have a plan for Christmas Eve and Day, but I do know that we will be shopping at the outlet mall in Anthem. I have no meals planned and think we will just eat when we fell hungry and stop when we want too. 3 hours up to Williams and 3 hours back home in about a 26 hour timeframe.

            I have the right to peace, rest and quiet alone time. Coming home will be down time to go to the gym and movies before the New Year begins. My Dad, Harry will be coming in January and schools begins too. I did not have any schedule or anything required of me for a few days after the holidays and I planned to make the most of them.

            I have the right to completely change everything and do it all different next year. I can keep making changes until the holidays feel like the “new” normal. I have no idea what 2012 will bring. I do know that each passing holiday meant Heather get further in the past.

Photo: Mimi and Snooks on our way to The Polar Express for Christmas Eve

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