Sometimes Christmas isn't Always Peppermint + Tinsel
Two months ago, Sarah from The Mom Culture asked if I would be willing to write an article for her community, talking about what the holidays are like after going through loss. I hesitantly said yes, not knowing what I would say, how I would say it, or if it was something I was even ready to do. However, I now want to say thank you for giving me the push I needed to face some of these emotions and heal a little more through this process.
Now back to two months ago. Two months ago, I sat down with tears in my eyes, opened up my trusty old laptop, and stared at a blank screen. It was my moment to express how I felt. My moment to talk about the anger, the hurt, and the confusion that comes with losing someone so suddenly. I sat there for 27 minutes. 27 minutes with my hands on the keyboard, unable to type a single sentence.
How do you put into words what it is like to lose someone you love? How do you explain the physical pain you feel at the slightest reminder of who they were? Or the unsettling resentment towards the outside world, because the people around you go on living while your world is frozen in time?
For two months, I have sat down and opened my computer only to close it again minutes later. So here I am, once again trying to explain what the holidays are like after losing someone I love. The truth? It is f*cking hard. Yes, I know, not eloquently stated, but it is the truth.
The holidays surround you with Hallmark reminders of what a ‘perfect’ Christmas looks like, and although I am not oblivious to the fact that ‘perfect’ does not exist, I am cognizant of the fact that there is a very significant piece now missing in my personal interpretation of what a ‘perfect’ Christmas looks like.
I try and spend my energy focusing on my two little girls, wanting to embrace the magic of the holidays through their eyes, but waves of guilt rush over me every time we bake my mom’s favourite sugar cookies, or when we dance around the kitchen to her favourite Christmas album. Guilt for the fact that she will never get to wake up with them at the crack of dawn to see if Santa drank his milk, and if the reindeer ate their carrots. She will never get to wrap another gift, or give another hug. She will never get to watch them grow into the kind, smart, beautiful women that I know they will become, and because of that, I am angry. Angry that life has left me without my mother, and angry that it has left my daughters without a grandmother.
If you are going through loss, I am sorry. I know that there are no words that will help heal the wounds that you feel. If there is one thing that I could tell you, it is that what you are feeling is important, and it is okay to not be okay. It is okay to cry yourself to sleep because you miss them more than you ever thought possible. It is okay to be happy and see the world in colour again. It is okay to laugh and cry all in on breath because you are the only one who knows how you are feeling and what you are going through.
Now, after two months of avoiding this article, I am finally here to say that I am going to be okay and so are you. The truth is, on that first day when I opened up this old laptop and stared at the screen for those 27 minutes, I did write something. Four little words - I love you mom.
Stephanie is a mama to 2 young ladies and content creator known for her honest photos and captions about motherhood. Follow her on Instagram @moderndaywonderland