See that last line? It's a lie. This year was harder than last year. In the weeks leading up to Christmas (and during Christmas Mass), the priests said to be joyful. Even when you're hurting or grieving for a loved one, be joyful. I tried. I really did. Tears welled up during mass...I swear I could hear my mom singing. I know she wouldn't want us to be sad on this day.. on her birthday that she shares with Jesus.
Then, I start chastising myself. I'm an adult...I knew my mom wouldn't be around forever. I should be able to do without her. But, gosh, I miss her.
I have a friend whose mother went in for a heart cath the other day, but they couldn't complete it and called in hospice. My heart aches for her, but she has time to say goodbye to her. She has time to rack her brain and think of questions to ask her. My mom was here one day & gone the next. Just. Like. That.
My mom didn't get to tell us that it's going to be okay. That we're going to be okay. It's hard to see my daddy getting through each day without her.
Another friend talked about going through all of the stages of grief. She talked about the anger stage, which I still haven't gone through. Not in the sense that I'm mad that she's gone. She was in pain every day, and she lived her life for the moment that she would gain entrance into heaven. Was she a saint? Was she perfect? No, absolutely not. But, how can I be angry that she left this life exactly as she wanted? Doesn't everybody wish for more time with their parents before they pass away?
Christmas was just...weird. I ended up getting OS the exact same clothes that I did last year. (oops!) The presents just aren't important any more. So, next year, I think we'll skip it. We'll have the Christmas Eve Dinner & Christmas Morning Brunch. But presents? Unless they ask for something specific, I think we'll skip it. I just don't think it should feel like an obligation; it should be something you want to do. I'd much rather have my family with me at Midnight Mass than any thing in the world. Maybe next year.
Maybe next year won't be so hard.