Thursday, December 16, 2010

Celebrating versus Observing

The holidays are here. The holidays are stacked upon us for the next couple of weeks.

As a parent who has lost a child holidays are awfully difficult. There is so much to deal with in so many different ways--

We can feel guilty about enjoying the holidays without our child. What if we are having a good time? Our child is not with us and we can feel guilt about enjoying life and the holidays. How can we be happy watching our remaining children open up gifts if one is missing? Well this is where logic needs to come in--we need to remember that our child would not want us to be miserable during the holidays. They would want us to continue to live. Also we ABSOLUTELY have to remember that we have other children (or other family members) that we need to continue the holidays for. It is not fair to "punish" our remaining children by not enjoying them. They are enough for us, we must remember this.

We have traditions that we have to figure out what to do with now. The same place for the tree? The same food, same date? Same type of gifts, stockings? We no longer celebrate Christmas on Christmas eve at our house anymore--old tradition. We now have it the day before Christmas eve. Initially right after DJ's death I needed to get the holiday over as soon as possible and moving it up just one day helped me. I have started putting the tree up in a different room. I can't relive the memory of DJ climbing under the tree in his red boxers looking for gifts. I remember it every year but seeing the tree in a different spot lessons the pain of the memory. It lessons the pain and makes it a happy memory.

I did not have Emilee or Jake decorate their own tree this year. Every year in the past they had their own ornaments to decorate their own tree together. Well this year I just didn't have it in me and they absolutely did not miss tackling that job. I did end up finding a perfect ornament for DJ this year and bought it and did as usual buy the kids their own--but going through all the ornaments and sorting out which ones were DJ's and which aren't just isn't happening. Will I do it next year? I don't know. I never know what is going to happen year to year.

I no longer send out Christmas cards or a family Christmas picture. DJ is missing, the picture would be incomplete and I just don't do it. Every year we would do something but we haven't since 2006. If I could copy and paste DJ's picture into a photo maybe I would but that seems a little morbid for me. Old tradition completely gone.

Also it is hard to say Happy Holidays, Happy anything--again guilt here. Someone posted something on twitter awhile ago stating to observe the holidays instead of celebrate them. Wow, that was like a lightbulb exploding above my head for me. Those few words take away so much guilt of being happy about the holidays. Usually I am not a guilt ridden person, I truly feel guilt is from the enemy and is completely useless but I was struggling with this senseless guilt. Observing the holidays is just plain easier than trying to celebrate them. Do I have a reason to celebrate?--you bet--DJ is in heaven, Christ's death and resurrection allowed that. Because of Christ I will get to be reunited with DJ again--CHRISTmas can be wonderful if we truly remember why the holiday exists at all!

1 comment:

  1. Very well done! One of the best post yet! Enjoy the time with Christ in his name.