Thursday, December 24, 2020


 Christmas Eve 2020, my first one without Rick.   My friends in the widow's club warned me about the holidays.  My initial thoughts, how bad can they be?  The weeks after his death had been indescribable .

But Thanksgiving came, alone on the farm and the realization of what my friends warned me about hit.  Those first few weeks, and the first 2 or 3 months , I was in shock and then the fog rolled in.  ( see previous post about fog)  I'm still walking through the fog, but the holidays brought a new piece to the puzzle.  Even with Covid raging, the holidays brought something I did not expect, the shroud of grief I wear, does not protect me from others' joy and gaiety.  All the Christmas movies that end with happy and joy, the smiling Santas and snowmen on cards, the upbeat Christmas carols. the bright colors, the well wishes of Merry, and Happy.  I see it all and wait for the osmosis of all this to somehow permeate my being.  I realized this is not my holiday season to experience the gaiety and joy.

So what am I doing this first holiday season alone?  Thanksgiving brought calls from friends who had walked through the shadows, they were my lifeline.  Those same friends are throwing the life preservers to me this week.  Calls,  my first ever bouquet of roses, letters, food,  thoughtful gifts have brought comfort and that is when I realized this holiday for me is about comfort.  Comfort is what my spirit had craved, comfort is what my body needed, love has been the balm, the glue if you will of what has held my broken pieces together.

A friend called and the first question I was asked, "how's your heart?"  I admit I was taken aback, I admit I lied and said it was fine.   But after the call, I sent my friend a note and apologized about the lie.  He laughed and said he knew I was lying.  That question led me that day into serious introspective, moving deep and looking at my heart and realizing five months of grief were just a drop in the bucket.  I have a long way to go and much grief to muddle through.

Besides missing Rick and our traditions, I miss the big family gatherings.  I won't be going to my sister's house or his sister's house, though they are still continuing with their gatherings.  Covid concerns have kept me at a distance.  I don't want to be sick, alone on this farm.  Also the gaiety and joy of others, the sound of all that laughter and cheer, it's just too much to bear.

Yesterday I took both my sisters gifts and spent a few moments with each in a social distance visit.  I dropped off Rick's family gifts at his sister's house.  This morning I will take my brother Ricky and his family's gifts to his house.  His family has been my bubble, I see them daily though even with that the visits are short lived.  

Yesterday I drove to the cemetery, there my parents and Rick are side by side.  I suppose that was my Christmas gift, because Rick's marker had been placed on his grave that morning.  It seemed like the fitting gift for him as well.

So, I have the tree, I decorated my mantle and I painted Christmas cards.  The same friend who asked about my heart told me that when he and his wife opened my card, she looked at it and said, " it's different this year, there is sadness there."  I couldn't paint joy.

I hope this season, this holiday brings you comfort and love.  I hope the New Year is kind.

Here is my Christmas card for 2020. 

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