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Holidays In Year Two And Beyond


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This is Labor Day weekend, a holiday weekend that historically meant nothing to me or to Bill. It was just a long weekend and we turned it into fun somehow with a trip or even yard work and a movie. Whatever we did...being together was the key to joy.

Now this weekend suddenly takes on meaning...none of it about the origins of the day but rather....about how many people are all out having a good time with those they love. (I add that I am totally aware that a lot of this is myth....many people are working, grieving, being with families in pain, etc.) I spent yesterday with a friend all day, shopping, lunch etc and that was ok. I could spend most of tomorrow with friends at a local event. But now....as I start the "reality portion" of my grieving/after Bill's death chapter of my life....I am starting to see that we have never chosen to spend a lot of time with lots of people and though I did that for several months after Bill died...it is just not me to continue to do that. So, I have two choices now since the one choice that I prefer (time with Bill) is no longer an option. I can go be with a lot of people doing stuff I do not enjoy or I can be home alone...painting, reading, paying bills etc or take a ride alone or spend a BIT of time at the local fest with friends and then be alone for the rest of it. This weekend I will opt for the latter which is more in keeping with who I am.

The bottom line is that holidays are difficult even the meaningless ones but I am starting to lean towards spending more of them doing things that more closely resemble who I really am (and who Bill and I as a couple were) rather than be a social butterfly flitting about to various events and making small talk with people. That is not who I am. Small talk drives me nuts.

Not sure any of this makes sense as I ramble but I know many of you out there who are now into year two and beyond and are living with your loss as well as grieving....struggle with holidays and anniversaries. They are difficult and challenging. As we approach the biggies....Thanksgiving and Christmas...I find myself trying to figure out how I want to do these. It is, for me, the second set of big holidays without Bill. I barely remember last Thanksgiving or Christmas and frankly I wish I could erase this year's from the calendar. Bill and I would volunteer at soup kitchens on some holidays, travel on others, go to be with my family on some....they were pretty easy.Last Thanksgiving I spent at a friends and though grateful for the invite....it was very lonely. I spent Christmas with another friend and it was NOT a good experience. Now these days are dreaded.

Anticipating holidays,


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I read your post and totally know what you mean my Ben left me 2yrs 6months 16 days ago I have gone tru 2 holidays annivarssary birthdays,weddings list goes on and it does not seem to get any easier,,,Labor day weekends were always the last weekend of summer kids would go back to school on Tues so we spent part of the weekend making sure they had everything for school and than we would plan something fun for the kids bar b que Ben loved to bar b que ,or take them on a short weekend trip...it also meant the beginning of what we call birthday season and our annivarsary was around the corner so it was an exciting time around our house now it is a sad time for me and I feel so lost and lonely yes I have our children and family but I don't nhave him!!! Everyone use to tell me it gets easier now they say things like well its almost 3 yrs get over it but how do you get over losing your best friend,your lover,your partner, your everything?

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Dear Lucia,

I do not think we get over it and we have to ignore the well intentioned who tell us how to do something they have never done. I think we learn, slowly, to accept what has happened, to live with the loss and we go on but I expect to be missing Bill until I take my last breath. I do not have kids but those who do tell me it is nice to have them, but they have their own lives and they did not lose a spouse....and bottom line...Bill is not here!!!!! I am with you. Mary

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  • 2 weeks later...

Starting to think about the holidays...I guess because I bought trick or treat candy today when I saw it at Walmart. Or perhaps because we are expecting the first freeze of the season tonight. Nice and cool here and the leaves are starting to change. The sumac is becoming brilliant red....Frankly it will be a relief to see winter....an interior time for me. But the holidays come with that.

Like many of you, i wish the holidays would just go away. I found this piece on line and thought those of you who might be starting to think of holidays (be they the first or second without your loved one) might benefit from it.




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Dear Mary,

I began my Christmas shoping in Aug. while on holidays. I love going into little gift shops that have uniqe things, found two or three of them so figured it was a good time to start.

Lars and I always did Christmas shopping together, so i find it difficult now. If I space it out it's not as hard.

This will be my third year as he passed Dec.11,2009 and someone has always been with me at night after the celebrating is over. This year I'm choosing to be alone for the night and not really looking forward to that.

I find the other holidays not as bad, as a family, we spend them together so the day of.. I'm not alone.


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