Ep 15 - This Time of Year
In this episode I talk about how I used to be a grinch around the holidays, how I felt guilty for not doing something special on the anniversary of my husband's death in the past and how I decided to start a new tradition by inviting my son to a Remembrance Event in honor of Daddy.
I remember a time, probably in my twenties, when I was kind of a grinch around the holidays. Something about the crowds and the obligations and the expectations really turned me off. The minute Halloween was over, there it was. Christmas. In your face. With the music and the decorations and the greed. There was no escaping it. And everywhere you turned was an interrogation. What are your plans for the holidays? Who are you taking to the office party? What are you thankful for? The pressure! To be happy and to show gratitude to to spend money. It was too much.
I quit my job and stopped drinking and started to focus on healing. We snuck away to Maui, which seemed like the best place I could be to feel close to him and to just take a breath. I felt paralyzed. I couldn’t bring myself to get together with any of our friends. I thought I would sprinkle some of his ashes into the ocean, but I couldn’t manage to even go near them. I couldn’t do much more than take my son to the pool and watch the sun set from my lanai. I remember feeling guilty that I didn’t do anything special on that day. But I didn’t even know what I could do.
I had to wrap my head around the fact that it wasn’t a day to remember the terrible thing that happened that but instead a day to remember all the other days that we had him here with us. So after comparing notes with my therapist and my friend Google, I decided to start a new tradition. I gave my son an invitation that read “you are invited to a day of remembrance in honor of daddy. This will be a dress up event. We will make memory stones, tell stories, look at photographs and talk about how far we’ve come. There will be a special, family style dinner followed by a movie." I wasn’t sure how he react but knew that this would give him time to process and prepare for this event, because he is my child after all. He read the note and took a minute and then a huge smile spread over his face. He said “I’m so excited.”