Sunday, August 28, 2011

Doesn't Anyone Feel Sorry For ME?

I'm embarrassed to say these are the words I actually said, out loud, in the shopping mall today!

To explain what caused this meltdown I need to go back a bit. Chris and I had never had a turn to host Christmas dinner at our place because where we live is too small with no air conditioning (Christmas is HOT here in Australia). So Christmas was always alternated between my mum and my sister's, Penny's house. Because Penny is the only one of us siblings who is married with family here (Chris's family are all living in Canada so we never had that 'in-laws' conflict about who had Christmas where) so we would also alternate every year between Christmas Day and Christmas Eve for the family get together.

This year, as we were moving to a new place, Chris and I were finally going to get to host Christmas ourselves. It was our side of the family's turn to have Christmas Eve, and my sister would spend Christmas day with her husband's family. This was fine because Chris and I would have either had a party Christmas night with friends, or just done something special with just the two of us.

Since losing Chris, I've had to deal with numerous things - some big (packing away his clothes) some small (hearing a joke and nearly calling out to repeat it to him). With the big things I've learned that I need to make a strategy ahead of time to cope with it. The small things you just have to ride it out and let the tears come. Even though it's only August, Christmas and New Years Eve feel like they are looming around the corner ready to spring a tidal wave of gloom, grief and depression on me. So I've been making strategies now for how I would cope.

Christmas I knew would be hard but on the upside it's also a day for family so I knew my family would get me through. New Years though would be the hardest because we always had our own party at home, sometimes with friends, sometimes just the two of us and sometimes a combination of both. But really it was the one night we made a big deal out of and always spent together.

This New Years after much consideration I've decided to skip it. No going out for dinner with well-meaning friends who think it will be 'good for me'. No parties. No inviting someone over to chill out with me. Just me, dvd's, pj's, ice-cream and maybe a scotch for Chris.

Christmas though, I'd decided to go ahead and still host dinner. Mostly because I'm trying to build something solid around me. This is important because I feel like I'm sinking most of the time.

So today, when I was out shopping with mum, my sister and nephews, we started talking about Christmas (this started because my 4 year old nephew kept pointing out things and asking me if I would buy it for him "for Christmas"). During the conversation my sister reminded us how it was actually our turn to host Christmas on Christmas Eve.


What would I do on Christmas day itself????? I'd be ...... A. L. O. N. E.! I was not prepared for this. I guess in the back of my mind, I had assumed my family would automatically know what this meant to me, drop all their plans and rearrange their plans around me.

Of course, this is not how I normally think! But in the moment, sheer panic overwhelmed me which is what led me to an outburst of tears and "Doesn't anyone feel SORRY for me?"

Mum and my sister VERY quickly assured me they did, and that Christmas this year will easily be rearranged so that I get to spend Christmas day with my beloved nephews and family.

Oh boy, in my head I knew I should apologise. But I know them and I know that they wouldn't accept an apology from me. I know that I'm being a little selfish at the moment and despite being normally independent, quick to adapt and easy going, sometimes things just are what they are. Even in the worst of circumstances, I feel so blessed by those around me who care enough to let me cope how I need.

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