I really love these holidays, but damn do the holidays love me? Somehow everything fell together in the midst of everything falling apart and there I stood alone, wondering where the hell you were….
Inevitably, the holidays are some of the hardest times of the year for many people and a variety of different reasons. From the absence of those you loved that have since passed on from this life. To the things you can’t do or the life you don’t yet have. Many people dread the moment where an aunt will ask, “So, Brittany, when are you going to finally get married?” They dread the moment where grandma will say, “Damn, what you think you better than us now that you got that little degree?” It’s the shady comments and the awkward stares that make people want to avoid holidays as if they were the plague.
“It was the slap in the face after life had already punched me down. It was unfair.”
While these questions are significant and the lack of their possession can make one feel inadequate the real pain comes from the void of those you wished were there. That old love that you thought you’d spend forever with, but instead of accepting your proposal she said no and that she could find someone better. The child that grew in your belly the one you raised with love and affection, but turned to the streets full of addiction and hopelessness. Or if you are like me, it’s the cousin that’s missing. Often times, your cousins are your first best friends and they are inevitably some of the first people you look forward to seeing at a holiday affair but that’s extremely hard when they are dead.
Sorry for my brashness, but I don’t often face that reality. I don’t often say that word. Dead. Ugh! It’s such an ugly word. I mean just look at it, it appears lifeless and sounds heartless. The word is disgusting if I’m brutally honest. It’s the single most painful word I’ve ever heard. DEAD. The one thing that keeps me from seeing my cousin is that she’s dead, just as someone you love is also. It’s what separates us on holidays and special occasions and everyday in between. It’s what prevents me from calling her for an official slay and saying to hell with the whole process, anyway.
Perhaps if her death hadn’t taken me by surprise, I’d feel a bit more closure but her death came after a torturous battle, one where I couldn’t win for losing. It was the slap in the face after life had already punched me down. It was unfair. Shit, it’s still unfair but yet I’m here and she’s there. Nothing I say, nothing I do can change that and so I just have to deal with it. Deal with the void. Deal with the hole. Deal with the fact the she’s never coming back. Never coming back.
“You must get through, because pushing it down will have you boiling over the surface at an unexpected time.”
I wanna say more, but I’m at a lost for words. Typing that out is different – the rawness of those words being on paper or a screen just made them REAL. It solidified that although I wrote her down as a guest who attended my home for Thanksgiving, the only place she’d visited was my mind and my heart. She was missing. Hell, she was gone. But she wasn’t too far from me. I thought of her, saw and heard her laugh, and felt her presence. Was it the way I wanted? Nope. But was it something? Yes.
I’m not the only one in the world going through these emotions. I hear you all. I see you all. I went through the pain too. Perhaps, at a different time than you but I went through it too. I just happen to find a release in writing so here I am sharing with you. Being vulnerable and transparent with you. You just have to decide how you are going to get through. You have to decide how you will go on enjoying the holidays even though some of your favorite people aren’t there. No, you can’t just act like it didn’t happen. No, you can’t tell yourself they are on a long vacation. You must get through, because pushing it down will have you boiling over the surface at an unexpected time. Face it and say it, it’s going to hurt but you’ll be okay – eventually.
Admitting the facts are the first part but it’s a long journey to being okay with something that you wish you could change. I get that. I get all that funky stuff. The funky feelings of wallowing. The funky feelings of not accepting. The funky feelings of moving through the day without actually being present for any of it. So I ask if not for yourself this holiday season that you do it for them. For those you love that are still here. I mean after all the people you still have here are counting on you. Waiting for you to get back in the spirits of joy during the holiday season. Waiting for you to be excited about celebrating with them. They are waiting for you to see that they are still here no matter how painful it is that some people aren’t.
-With Love, Lex
P.S. For the last two years I take December off. No one see’s or hears from me unless they see and hear me. This time is for me and my memories. It’s time to reflect on the pains and gains from life. It’s time to plan an intentional future. It’s time to just be. No pressure from the outside world – just family, friends, and coworkers. During this month I’ll be blogging more, being more conscious of my mindfulness, and working through some stuff that I’ve put off all year. Ya know? Regroup. I hope you plan on sticking with me because there’s so much I want to tell you about and help you work through. If you want to join, comment below and tell me what you plan to do to rejuvenate on your social media break.