Is it wrong to look forward to this time of year when I am constantly reminded of all those who I have lost and who will not be present with me during this season of gift giving and family oriented activities.
As the old cliché goes ‘misery loves company’ and too often I find myself spiralling downwards in a maelstrom of sadness thinking about the people who I have loved and who are no longer with me. I remember them all the time and reflect on how different my life is without them.
Some may think that I am melancholic and miserable, and although I can be, it’s not the hat that I wear 24/7.
Planning Christmas for my family, wandering through gift shops and buying presents for loved ones online has created a stark reminder of all who are no longer here with me on this planet.
I hate not buying for my sister Annie any more. Almost every time I shopped, online or in real time, I thought of her. If I dared to come home with something that appealed to me, she would ask why I hadn’t bought a replica for her. Silly and inexpensive things mostly, but stuff that we liked and that represented our shared taste. I bought on the double a lot when she was alive.
Since her death, shopping has been a major challenge. I cannot view ‘stuff’ without thinking and wondering if she would like it. Is this feeling unique to me, or do others experience this phenomenon.
My mam who died two years ago had similar tastes, but didn’t like ‘household’ stuff like Annie and I did. She was always thrilled by a gift that sparkled and that she could wear. My mother in law Bernie who died earlier this year had no time for “gee gaws” as she called ornaments or household embellishments, and preferred to receive the gift of a practical cardigan or something similar. She liked things that were useful to her. Unlike my mam, she never wore jewellery.
I never really thought about how shopping for gifts for people that I love was such a minefield of emotion, but I really feel it this year. Everywhere I go I am reminded of what not to buy.
Notwithstanding these feelings I am at last looking forward to Christmas.
I am looking forward to Christmas despite not having three wonderful women that I have loved collectively for over 50 years being present with me.
I am looking forward to Christmas, sharing the day with my very dear and patient husband of over 30 years.
I am looking forward to Christmas with my adult children who will come to visit and share dinner with me, and who I have really enjoyed buying gifts for.
I am looking forward to Christmas, although it will be a quieter and less crowded affair.
I am simply for the first time in five years quietly and smilingly looking forward to Christmas…….
Destiny can silently and unknowingly creep up on you and remind you to keep on living.