Christmas Landmines – A Widowers Message of Hope to the Grieving

An inspiring message of hope at Christmas from a young widowed Dad, this message was first shared on our members only forums and shared here with his kind permission.

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Hope at Christmas

Surviving Christmas When You’re Grieving

Hi all. I almost feel like I’m standing on a high looking across at all the devastation. This year more than any I can feel healing going on for me and I only say that to show that there is that hope to cling to.

Winter and Christmas are bloody difficult times. For many here this is their first Christmas since the world stopped turning. The rest of the world keeps spinning but ours stopped on a particular day, on a definite minute. I really didn’t appreciate just how difficult Christmas is for so many. Bereaved, people who are ill, people who are lonely, people who are frightened, facing a daunting future. I’m starting to appreciate traditions, an older, gentler more caring Ireland. When people lost their love, their soulmate they literally wore black for a year. I don’t think that meant they stopped grieving after a year but they marked that difficult year. The world knew they were in pain and knew they needed love, support and space. I’m not suggesting this is anyway perfect but the community grieved along with you.

This next few weeks will be littered with landmines. Parties, “happiness,” – forced happiness, people calling to your house, New year to ring out the old…and your heart is broken into a thousand pieces. You try to pick them up and piece it together piece by piece but your eyes are blurred form tears and your hands hurt, your body hurts, you hurt too much to try.

But try you must. Day by day….hour by hour on many occasions. Inch by almost impossible inch. Almost impossible.

So some things I’ve learnt the hard way.

If you need to attend any particular event, work, or visit friends then know that you will get increasingly anxious as the day approaches. I would force myself to go if only for an hour. Short, sharp and then I’d sneak off. People are too caught up in how they are, how they look to notice too much that you’ve left.

Keep things simple. Don’t try to be Superman or superwoman with overly elaborate gifts or dinners. Christmas will be difficult enough without juggling 6 course for too many people. Ask for help if you can. People want to help. Some people….not all as we all know only too well.

There will be things you forget. The second year (having learnt from the first ) I bought in half a dozen bottles of wine from Dunnes and had them wrapped in case someone called or we had to visit somebody unexpectedly. Speaking of wine….watch the booze. Enjoy enough but be careful on just how much. Quality over quantity is definitely my motto as I get too down of I drink too much.

It’s difficult to appreciate this but these next few weeks will pass. They can be incredibly difficult but in almost the blink of an eye we will all be looking back having survived to a greater or lesser extent. That gives me huge comfort even now. I know the spring is on its way….it’s about getting there in as emotionally strong a place as I can manage. After the New Year it will be time to curl up again and try to heal. Try to nourish the head, the heart, the mind.

Remember you are amazing. You have been floored and yet you continue on. It may not feel like you are doing an amazing job but you have been hit by the greatest pain and you are trying your damndest to stand up. We’re all here to hold your hand because while I’m holding yours…..you are holding mine,

Much much love,

David 

1 COMMENT

  1. Hi David, its 8 years now since I lost my beloved and best friend, we were in our 40’s with 3 teenagers and a 9 year old – so much has happened in that time, for the children. I am thankful that I was able to get through, and they are all ok and have done well despite the hard times during the past few years. i joined young widows as I didnt know anyone my age who was left without the love of their life. In the past 8 years, I have discovered that I can make it on my own, that the children got through, although I know they will need counselling when they have their own families, but the chaos has now been replaced by the lonliness attached to empty nesters. This is now a time when we would have had more time on our own, We always did date night on a friday when the children were young, – I hope he is proud of me,

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