Merry Christmas Vs Bah Humbug

I really don’t know where to begin here. My thoughts are in a swirl. I thought I had Christmas sorted. All those ghosts of Christmases past were consigned to their memory boxes or loaded into my memory banks, safely, only to be visited when needed, when sanity was reigning supreme and the monster of grief was sleeping soundly somewhere other than in my head or in my heart. But. And it’s a big old BUT. In the last week Christmas has felt like the ‘quickening’ and all my efforts of tree decorating and party hosting are merely superficial because the doomsday that is the 25th is before me and it’s looming like a big, old scary marker of a day. Another day without him, another day the girls should have had with their daddy. And it is so, so hard not to compare those Christmases past with where I am now. It’s not bad where I am. It’s good. Really good, in fact, if I would stop bloody crying and comparing backwards. Backwards to London. Back to being pregnant with Isla. Pacing the hospital with Col waiting for Isla. Her arrival on Christmas Eve. Our first Christmas in our home with Evie, all excited. Isla’s wearing the same clothes Evie was around this time. Squint my eyes a bit and Isla could be our Little Doctor Evil. Let my imagination run away with myself and I can conjure up his voice on the end of the line telling me what gift I should be getting her. Bah Humbug.
It’s getting to Evie too. She’s had a couple of set-to’s with friends about where her daddy is. She’s argued that Santa (after the Sunday School Christmas Party) would have gone back to the North Pole via her ‘Daddy in the Sky’ because Santa would know Daddy was lonely. She’s reassured adults around her that Daddy is indeed still in the sky and he captures lost balloons and still sends her white feathers on a daily basis. And I am not surprised she’s like this at all. She was just coming up to two that last Christmas we all had in 2011. One of my early memories is from around the age of two. I think a lot of adults do retain moments from approximately that age. So I am not surprised when she retells a little moment of those Christmassy weeks before Col died nor am I surprised when she conjures up a little tale that’s complete fabrication. She’s remembering what she can, making up the other bits that she can’t and she’s trying to piece together a happy little Christmas Past for herself that contained Daddy and all that he stands for in a world that he is no longer in. A world where most other people around her have daddies. She’s trying to work it all out.
Planning Christmases Present and Future are not beyond our little girl either. She remembered Col putting the star on the tree (false) and insisted that she watch Cameron do it. She’s told me that this time Santa is to come into the house a different way and where he is to put her presents from now on because he got it wrong last year. She’s telling Isla how it all works and how she has to be good for Santa to get presents. Then at bedtime tonight she looked out the window to the moon and the dark sky and told Daddy she was in her nursery nativity play tomorrow and he was to watch her even though she had Mummy and Cameron there too. She’s getting everything sorted out to make this Christmas and future ones as perfect in her head as the one she has kind of made up that she spent with Daddy last year, here in this house (FALSE< FALSE< FASLE).

So in the last 40 minutes or so, I’ve wept for the past, I’ve been hugged in the present, by big and little people, and I’ve been promised a tight squeezy cuddle from My Evie Bug tomorrow if I’m good. As I said, my head is in a swirl. Bah humbug and Merry Christmas to one and all.

10 Replies to “Merry Christmas Vs Bah Humbug”

  1. Goodness, yes – this is going to be very hard – gearing up to get the decorations out of the garage. Couldn’t read the Christmas letter my father always sends. All the Christmas cards without Mark’s name on them are hard to read…

  2. I love reading your posts as it makes me feel I’m not alone. I lost my husband in July 2012 & am trying to get life back on track with my boys (6 & 15). My cousin is Diane Bell and it was her that told me about your page. You are so strong but remember to ask for help if you need it. I have recently moved to be closer to family and feel it’s for the best for me & my boys. My new motto in life is to take each day as it comes. Remember yesterday, live today & look forward to tomorrow xx

  3. Eleven years on and Christmas and other anniversaries unexpectedly churn up the emotions, but the memories are, of course all good now, and a supportive new spouse gives me a hug when she notices these moments. So … a wonderful Christmas to all of you – the “one of there catching lost balloons” would want us to cherish this time of building new memories and celebrating the legacy of old memories…. Bless you all.

  4. This time of year is so difficult. My beloved husband Michael died in June 2012. We always had a wonderful Christmas together and I cannot bear the thoughts of Christmas without him. Last year it was miserable and this year bodes no better. I could not bear to put up any of the decorations that we gathered over the years but I will put up the lovely crib that we bought in 2011, which we did not realise would be our last Christmas together. What I find so difficult is that people who have not gone through a great loss have no comprehension of what it is like and I am fed up with the platitudes that I have to listen to. Your blog makes me know that I am not alone in feeling as I do. Each day I cry even more than the day before.

    1. I also lost my husband very suddenly in June 2012. I agree with everything you write and nothing seems to get much better. I too will not be putting up the Christmas decorations. It does help to know we are not on our own with our feelings.

      1. I lost my husband, June of this year 2013 and my mum in March. We were so looking forward to Christmas last year, when he was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma. My children are 16 and 19. I work in primary education and I find myself crying every morning. I did buy a new tree for the children’s sake. There’s just nothing like the painful agony of loss.

  5. Your posts always hit home with me, especially this one. My husband died in February, and this will be our first Christmas without him (we have four kids). The beginning of December was okay, we bought a tree and decorated it, watched a few Christmas movies. But since then, all of us have been slowly unraveling. My oldest daughter and I have burst into tears periodically. My son is depressed and angry. My middle daughter is sad and nostalgic (she was very close with her dad). The baby is 19 mths now, so she has no Christmas memories, but maybe she’ll make some up one day. It’s just so sad…and we are surrounded by happy, whole families everywhere.

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