Help for Healing

Bitter & Sweet, living daily with grief

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Holiday Hell

Image result for thanksgiving images

I think holidays must be one of the most immense Catch-22 situations in our society. Everywhere I go, most people find them stressful. Lots of people say they hate them. A few truly enjoy them.

We put so much into them and their significance which is why the letdown is so bad. Yet year after year we do it to ourselves. We keep hoping something great will happen. We try to set a new precedence. We think the people in our lives will be inspired to put more effort into us just because it is a holiday.

Some go off pretty well. But’s let’s face it. Most of us actually act worse because of the dynamics I just mentioned. The high hopes are usually dashed. What a vicious cycle. And I’m just as guilty.

People who live with grief know that holidays are generally the toughest times of the year. Since Dad died, my grief around mom and Tim are also ramped up. I realized last night that the worst part isn’t even mine, even though that is significant too. The worst is watching my kids grow up with parents and grandparents missing. That just doesn’t seem to get easier no matter how many years go by.

Last year was especially tough and this year is proving to be the same. It is amazing how quickly you can spiral down the rabbit hole. Having it be a holiday just makes it all seem worse.

Family dynamics break my heart sometimes. Missing my sister hurts even know we celebrated our own Thanksgiving when she was in town. This is the first holiday I won’t be seeing my beautiful granddaughter because of painful circumstances.

Thanksgiving is for giving thanks. I believe it. I want it. I’m aware of the good things. But damn it, the sadness can overshadow what the whole purpose of the holiday is. Those who made it special are sometimes gone. The very people who are here are supposed to color our lives with love, but sometimes end up coloring our holidays with hurt. Boo!

Oops, sorry. I forgot Halloween is over.

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I got out our Halloween decorations this week. I think it’s probably my second favorite holiday to prepare for besides Christmas. (Not that I don’t complain about the overwhelming task of decorating for Christmas, but you know what I mean.) My daughter Emily hails Halloween as her favorite holiday and she has rubbed off on me over the years.

It ends up being a time for reminiscing. When Frankie was just a couple of months old, he donned his first Halloween outfit that read “Treat or Trick” on his baby butt.

David- Trick or Treat!

The first award Frankie ever got was a trophy for the cutest costume in the town parade. He was only a year old and he was a bumblebee. He was the cutest kid in the world, so that title was well-earned. Out comes the trophy at Halloween time. I had to include his other costume for that year in the pictures- the pumpkin. That would have won an award also if he were allowed to enter twice :).

David-  Halloween costume

David's Halloween costume

He was Darth Vador three years in a row and it rocked. The helmet was a voice changer and he sounded like Darth when he said “Trick or Treat” and then he would activate the heavy Darth breathing. Superman a year or two. A werewolf once. Then there was the year he was Cinderella. He was gorgeous! His classmates went crazy. He was fine with it until we went trick or treating that night and everyone though he really was a woman (because he was so pretty). We cut the night short and he came home and took off his costume… lol.

Last year he was Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers’ movies. He can do a great imitation of him as well. He looked and sounded great, but was disappointed at the Halloween dance when only two of his classmates had ever even seen an Austin Powers movie. Ah, that’s what happens when you spend most of your time with a brother two and a half times your age. Anyhow, I tried to download the video for you on this, but it’s the wrong format :(.

Makes me smile to remember, then I do what parents usually do. I have a moment of sad, realizing how quickly he is growing up. I wonder what he will choose this year? I dread the day when he tells me Halloween is babyish and there won’t be a costume. Will this be the year? Yep, this is the year. He is saying he doesn’t want to do anything at all for Halloween. I’m hoping he is like his brother, Matthew. Matthew gave it up too until he was a little older. Then one year it hit him that it was very little work for an awful lot of candy.

I guess it’s a time when you get to be someone you’re not. Usually, it’s someone you wish you could be. I wonder who I would be if I were clever enough. No one comes to mind. When you are depressed, you just spend time wishing you weren’t you. It’s not so much you wish you were someone else in particular. You just don’t want to be in your own skin. Anywhere but there would be fine. And have you ever wished that other people in your life were something they were not? I’ve done that, too. I guess that’s called having expectations. Not usually a good thing. Or maybe you don’t really expect anything different from them, but sometimes you hope anyways. Sometimes, you are just that desperately in need.

Anyhow, Happy Halloween a week early. I hope you enjoy the pictures!