As I begin to put away my Christmas decorations and return to the every day reality of life, I am reminded how my reality makes me sad more times than I would like to admit. I think back to our first Christmas without Ryan. I remember being sad but not to the degree that I was this past Christmas. I mean this is the 4th Christmas that it has been just me and the kids. Why was this Christmas different than before?
The thing is when you suffer a major loss whether it’s the death of a loved one, a divorce, loss of friendships/relationships with family, a loss of a pet, or anything that is truly devastating to your life the loss never goes away. Many people think the person who has suffered the loss should feel or act a certain way at certain moments in time. The reality is no one grieves the same way and there is no right or wrong way to grieve.
From my personal experience I am still grieving and there are times I am not even sure if I have even begun to grieve. From the moment I was told my husband died I went into survival mode. My focus has always been my children. My son celebrated his 4th birthday the very next day. I made him a Lightening McQueen Cake at 10:00pm that night. I can still see the looks from family and friends that were still at the house. As a matter of fact someone actually said to me “What are you doing? You don’t have to make Hunter a cake.” I looked up from mixing the batter and simply said “It’s his 4th birthday. All my kids wake up on their birthdays to their cake. He will have his cake.” And I continued to make his cake.
Sometimes my reality gets the best of me. This holiday season has been hard. As a matter of fact a lot of things anymore have been hard. I am one of those people who will hide it and hide it well. You could see me at preschool drop off/pick up with a big smile on my face. You could see me at school functions or any of my children’s functions and I am smiling, laughing, and seem to be enjoying life. The reality is….I am sad. I am devastatingly sad. I am sad for so many reasons. I am sad because my children do not have their dad here on earth with them to cheer them on at football. Or give his girls flowers after their dance recital. I am sad because I see they are starting to realize their loss. I am sad that they have said to me that they “hate being different” than other families. I am sad that my husband is not here to see what amazing children we have. I am sad that he is not here to see them grow up. I am sad that he is not here to help them work through their growing pains. I am sad that we will not grow old together. I am sad that we will not go back to Paris. I am sad that we will not have our monthly date nights. I am sad.
It’s hard for people in my life to truly understand why I am still sad after all this time. It’s hard for them to understand that I know I need to find time for myself but my reality is there is no time for myself. I have 3 young children. These children need me to help them with homework. They need me to get them from point A to point B. They need me to be there at every football game and every dance recital. They need ME. I am not trying to sound like I am a martyr. I am a mom. This is MY reality.
So as I resume my normal reality, I remind myself that I will have these moments of sadness. Sometimes the sadness will be right there in my face and sometimes it will just linger in the background. This is MY reality to live.