Another year of holidays is upon us. I smile when I think of my loved one now. I remember there was a time in my life when I had no idea what grief even meant. At that time, we were a happy family of four. Thanksgiving meant celebration with either family or friends with food, drink, music and laughs.
In my first year of widowhood, I grieved not only for my loved one, but I grieved that I was certain that I'd never have joyful holidays again. My daughters were 6 and 7. It was now up to me to have some kind of holiday spirit for their sake. My parents came to stay with us for the first Thanksgiving. I didn’t feel thankful for much. I actually felt bad for my parents because I was not a joy to be around.
I knew that Christmas would be worse so I planned some traveling over the holiday break. It soothed my pain to a certain degree to see family and friends that I hadn’t seen in quite some time. I even went back to Piscataway, New Jersey, where I grew up and had lunch with my neighbors after many years. I began to feel that life was more than my married life and I was now making new memories.
So year after year, the three of us made new memories. We continued taking trips when possible and drew joy from the love of family and friends. Holidays were not so painful anymore. There was pain AND joy! Much better than just pain!! Soon the pain lessened on those holidays. I began to remember them with a joyful heart. I can now think about past holidays when we were a young couple with 2 young children and smile. It was a good time.
But life now is good, too. I’m looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving with my second husband, my parents, my mother-in-law, my 2 daughters, my step-daughter, my hopefully one day, son-in-law, and my grandbaby. Although, we’ll be making new memories, we’ll never forget our prior memories. Happy Thanksgiving!