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  • Writer's pictureGrace Rice

December Up & Down

What a see-saw month this shaped up to be. It's definitely been a month of ups and downs for me. These past 4 years without Mike I've looked toward the month of December with anticipation, excitement and dread! The anticipation comes from wondering if there will be a white Christmas or not. Or, wondering if it will be a dry and sunny Christmas or a blizzard. The excitement comes from planning the meal, inviting the family to dinner; decorating (minimal) the house; looking forward to seeing the faces of my loved ones as they open gifts; watching the seasonal movies; reflecting on and honoring the true meaning of the holiday, and awaiting the big New Years Eve celebration complete with the ball drop on Times Square.

The dread comes with spending another December without Mike to participate in all the above feelings, emotions and joys of the holiday. It's brought on by hearing the Christmas tunes on the radio and thinking about how much we enjoyed them, going out shopping together for the meal, the gifts, the libations, and other necessary preparations. December also marked another wedding anniversary. This year, would have been our 44th wedding anniversary, it was December 23rd. There's also 2 granddaughters born in the month of December, one before Christmas and one after. So there would be lots of celebration in the month of December especially during the last two weeks, and tons of fun, laughter and joy as we see the year come to a close and look forward to the new year and all the things 'new' that comes with it.

So, that's why I approach this month with dread more so than anticipation and excitement. I carry very strong feelings about how the impact of losing Mike has affected me during holidays and other celebratory events. I try very hard to keep a happy demeanor and not be the Debby Downer when I'm in the company of others who really have the Christmas spirit and are joyful. But, in my quiet, alone time I can't help but feel depressed, sad and lonely for the presence of Mike.

I think Mike would want me to be happy and to move forward and I can honestly say, I'm doing that. One thing I did this month in the spirit of giving and spreading joy to others was to donate! Giving is in the spirit of the Christmas season and there are plenty of families and charities that need help to feed, clothe, and offer refuge to those in need. Focusing on others is one way that I've been able to cope because it took much of that off of myself and put it toward those who are helping others or who need the help. I would encourage you to try it. It's not too late. There are plenty of folks in need.

If you've found a way to cope during these holiday times, would you share it here on this nonjudgmental, safe community space? We would love to hear from you. Happy Holiday's!


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