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Holiday Prep. Is Tougher Than Tough!


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Yesterday was a really tough day for me. I decorated (mostly) the trio of miniature artificial trees we bought for this terrible 'first' Christmas w/o Nissa...couldn't bring myself to do our usual artificial tree, but I did want something to hang things on.

On the smallest one which sits behind an "angel" picture frame with one of her pics in it, I hung a new ornament that says, "I'm with you because you remember me" at the top. Below this is one of those 'talking' ornaments, on which we'll record a few seconds of the 'Nissa-talk' we'd recorded over the last few years (not nearly enough as I'd imagined, it turns out). Then, one on each side, I've got the 2 "In Memory of..." glass ornaments I had done up for Nissa and Sabin, with their dates. I have yet to choose and add a few favourite toys to this tree, too.

The 2nd tree has 2 other new glass ornaments: another "In Memory of..." one with BOTH of their names and final years, and a glass picture frame saying, "Our Beloved Kidlets" beneath the pic (which we haven't made up yet), plus all of our glass angel ornaments. Underneath this tree I've placed their honeysuckle logs. I may also string some of their favourite curly-ribbon to act as a garland.

The 3rd tree has my "In Memory of..." ornaments for my Mum and brother, plus 2 butterfly ornaments I bought this year as well....I'd been thinking of the butterfly I believe Nissa sent us (and the communicator mentioned), so bought one for her and one for Sabin, who'd also sent us one, hovering over his grave the day we buried him.

We'd also purchased 2 electronic picture frames, for ourselves and for my H's parents, so yesterday we started scanning photos of (mainly) the 'kids' in to be displayed as a slide-show...still have many more to go yet. It was very difficult looking through, and choosing which ones to include so far, as to me, they're ALL completely precious....even the blurry ones. I had to take dozens of breaks, to run from the pain. My H kept saying, "Yah, I know....I miss her, too...." And although this was a comforting thing, I still wanted to scream, "MISS her?!?!?! I can't even breath, my Life and Darling Girl, my Soul Partner, is just GONE, and so is one of the best parts of ME!!! Missing her doesn't even come CLOSE!!" After a few hours of this, I felt raw and totally depleted, seeing my life with our kidlets through the years, feeling the regrets and emptiness w/o them here now, and even knowing that there are so few people with whom we might even share these memories with. I felt so utterly ALONE after all this, and have only more of the same to 'look forward' to as I try to complete these plans for this, and the coming years....it all looks so bleak right now.

While I remember quite clearly how horrible I felt the first Christmas after Sabin 'left', and how that got a titch better each year after the first 2 w/o him, it was really mainly because I'd always be thinking, "Thank GOD we still have our Little Nis' here with us yet, otherwise I don't know WHAT I'd do!", followed always by the knowledge that one terrible day, she wouldn't be here, either, and then....????

So now here I am, at that frightening and surreal point in time, and NOT knowing what to do with myself most of the time. These decorations, although planned to help me find a smidgeon of solace somehow, are also making me feel sick inside. How can this BE?.....BOTH of our kids gone! NEITHER ONE left to sit with in the coziness of the season! THAT was always my favourite part of Christmas...not the presents or anything else...just the sharing of the general coziness on those winter nights, exchanging immense love, changing carols with feline-type words to suit my kidlets...knowing all was 'right' with the world, despite any problems...cuz they were there with me. And the same even when it was just Nissa left.

Light a fire in the fireplace this year? Not likely....Nissa had come, in the last 2 years, finally, to really enjoy the additional warmth, rather than letting her fears of fire rule the day. I saw the old pictures of me holding her and her brother in front of the fireplace each year, always with her looking panicked, wanting to get a safer distance from those scary flames. The pics had to be taken FAST! Then, the last 2 years'....me and her sprawled out together, snoozing and kissing, as close as she could get w/o laying right on the hearth...her poor kidneys failing, making her so chilly all the time. We finally got that cozy picture...but only because she was slowly failing. How's that for irony, and a bittersweet memory?

I honestly don't know how to get through this with any semblance of sanity or heart left. Or what it's really going to be like next year, or the year after, or the year after that. I've been through losses, some of them quite horrid, but THIS??? THIS seems like the end of everything good and loving and fulfilling. Even if it isn't, even if there's more to come that's good, it just doesn't FEEL like it. That big day is too-rapidly approaching, and I wish I could just run far, far away. This is MY 'scary flame'.

Edited by Maylissa
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Hi Maylissa,

Holidays are tough, and although you are trying to get "into" the mood, I do understand how difficult that can be. Sometimes memories can be comforting, but other times, they still bring a lot of pain. I guess it just depends on where you are along the grieving path.

I bought a couple of books on grieving pet loss, and I got stuck on the part about memorializing your pet. I still can't look at Tawny's pictures, which is the first part of that chp.(putting some pictures in the book). But I do have one (of many great pictures) me holding Tawny and somehow smiling, on her last day with us. I also took one of H holding her. I really do want to put that picture in the book. Then it asks you to write about some of your favorite memories. I feel more ready than before, so I might start that today. Writing about some of our memories together.

Try to take each day as it comes, and don't put too much stress on yourself. Do what you can and what feels right, and forget about the rest of the stuff.

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