Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Thanksgiving

I'll admit to struggling a little this year with the holidays.

In many ways I feel as though I've experienced a death and that's what is driving my emotions and actions these past 4 months. And indeed is was a death - the death of security, the death of happiness in everyday living, the death of a relationship, the death of life as I knew it. And that's what I struggle to deal with at times like this as a holiday approaches. It's no different than an actual person dying in many ways. And as I come to Thanksgiving I struggle with the dichotomy of not liking this new life of mine and yet being thankful for the things I have.

Its so easy for people to say "Look at all your blessings" and expect that those wonderful things in your life will outweigh any loss. Its rather like someone telling you "You'll have more children" when you lose one to tragedy. Clearly you cannot replace a child because each one is unique and special and has a piece of your heart that will never be filled by another. Does that make you less grateful for any other children you may have? Of course not. But the loss does not disappear. This feeling is similar to that.

I do have many blessings. I have a family that I love, extending in many directions. Does that replace what I have lost? No it does not. For over forty years I have awoken on every holiday with someone special to celebrate it with. I have been grateful for that person's presence in my life and loved having them to share every intimate moment with. That presence will be woefully missed on Thursday morning when I wake to an empty house where I will putter around alone, preparing food and setting a table by myself. Am I glad that my table will be filled with family later in the day? Of course. Does it make me miss the other person less? It does not.

And so the dichotomy of the holidays begins. And it has already started to impact my sense of security and joy. But Thanksgiving is about being grateful for the things we DO have, and that's what I will try very hard to do this year, when its so easy to focus on the thing I don't.

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