This is my twelfth Christmas without a partner, and yet… I’m happy this year. I have gone to some fun parties, attended a holiday variety show last night, am seeing my favorite band tonight, and am going to another holiday show tomorrow night with a bunch of friends. My mom is coming in town and we’ll be visiting several fancy restaurants. I’ve even swung some days off (my company only gives us one day off for Christmas and since it doesn’t slow down at the workplace, I’ve had some extremely stressful holiday seasons in the past).
I really felt a sea change in my attitude this year. Instead of thinking about everything I didn’t have for yet another year in a row, I found myself looking forward to all the things I was going to do. In essence, it gets better, but I love this Gateway Women post, because it makes such good points about acknowledging one’s grief:
Some of the really hard to manage feelings that come up around Christmas-time are some of the hardest human emotions to deal with – feelings of worthlessness, inferiority, anger, loneliness, futility, isolation and depression. At a time when everyone else seems to be getting into the holiday spirit, feelings like this can make us feel like freaks. However, what these feelings may point to is not that you are a miserable old humbug but that you are grieving. Because we live in a culture that neither recognises nor acknowledges the right of childless women to grieve, we often don’t realise ourselves that that’s what’s going on. If you had lost your family through a tragic accident, nobody (including yourself) would expect you to be able to join in the Christmas celebrations until you had fully grieved your shocking loss. And, frankly, nobody (including yourself) would ever expect Christmas to be slam-dunk easy for you. Our children are, or were, real to us. And we grieve their absence.