My blogging absence has been due to a lot of things. Mainly lack of time and lack of focus. The holidays means a lot of work for me (hooray!) and it keeps me incredibly busy. The reason people turn to me to board their dogs is because of my commitment to fulfilling their needs. This means I spend a lot of time in my running shoes!
My lack of focus is from the grief I am still struggling with. In all honesty, I feel like it's fresh and new all over again all of a sudden. I've felt it creeping in over the past couple of days as we begin our Christmas visits. This morning it hit me really hard. I really won't be seeing my dad for Christmas. Can I handle this? Right now I feel like I can't. My heart literally hurts. My head feels foggy, my eyes are constantly watering from the tears I'm fighting. I don't mind having a good cry once the day is over or when I'm alone - but not in front of others and I really don't like my kids seeing me so sad. They just want to make Mommy feel better and they are so helpless. I also feel so very, very helpless.
Christmas shopping has always been such a fun time for me, but this year it's full of sadness. Looking in the men's department for our other family members nearly brought me to my knees last week. I couldn't breathe and I had to run away, back to the safety of the kids' clothing. Seeing all of the things that we ALWAYS got Dad because he loved them (Jelly Belly Jellybeans, Coca~Cola collectables, nice button down shirts...) was just too much for me. Maybe because it's been but one month.. or maybe it will always feel this way. I guess I'll find that out as the years pass.
Here it is nearly Christmas Day and I've not even finished shopping for MY kids. I just cannot get it together. I don't even know what I am going to get them. I want to fill their day with joy but it feels like I'm totally incapable of such a task. I am so behind on everything. Housework, laundry, thank-you cards, ... everything. There is so much to do that it overwhelms me. It overwhelms me so much that sometimes I just give up. I sit down with mindless TV, or I go outside to jog, or I play with the kids to just ignore it. maybe it'll go away if I pretend it isn't there...
I suppose the denial part of this journey is going away. It's hard to be in denial this time of the year. You know that you'd normally already be planning to spend Christmas with your loved one or you would've already seen them - you can't escape that reality. You can't ignore the fact that there is no gift under your tree that says "to Paw-Paw/ love: the kids" and there will be no gift "from: PawPaw" or "from: Dad" being given. I loved being in denial. I could get through my day without crying in denial. I could make supper in denial. I could do laundry in denial. Now that the denial is leaving, I hate to admit it, but some anger is coming through.
I suppose anger is easier to feel than sadness. I don't even know what I'm angry about or who I'm angry with. When I see other people with their dad's.. I am so jealous. When I see pictures of people with their entire families.. I can't help but ask God why he couldn't give me one more Christmas? Why couldn't I have had some warning? Instead of being so thankful that my dad died so fast, so suddenly, with no suffering, I feel that I deserved some idea that this was coming. I want to know why he died so young. I want to know why I didn't get more time with him. I want to DEMAND that God rewinds life and brings my dad back to me. I want to wake up tomorrow and this be a terrible nightmare. I want to know why a 51yr old man with a fantastic life drops dead with no signs beforehand. Because there are no answers, I'm just left with anger. I don't want to be mad.. I want to just say "God, your will is perfect and I accept it." But, I don't. I want my dad back. I want my life back to the way it was. I don't want to miss him. I don't want to be sad each year at a time that's supposed to be so joyful. I suppose if it were up to us, no one would ever die... but I guess to my small human mind, the natural order of life is you get OLD, then you die. I know this is not the case.. I know so many that have lost children.. that have lost parents much younger.
I don't know why I'm posting this.. I should be posting about the great two Christmas visits we've already had with family. I should be posting how blessed we are to have so much family left. I should be able to just get over myself and move on... but here I sit. Sobbing at my keyboard.
Tonight I will pray, I will read scripture, I will beg God to hold me through this. I will pray for my family, my sister, my stepmom and my brothers. I know they are in pain as well... my stepmom more than any of us. I will pray for comfort and acceptance. I will pray for all of the people that I know that are feeling this exact same way as the holidays are here. I know many of you by name, and my heart aches for you, too. I know three people off of the top of my head that are missing their father's for the first Christmas just like I am this year. I will pray for God's joy to enter all of us. That we will all enjoy Christmas and not feel sadness. That we will know that because of Christmas we can celebrate that we will eternally be with our loved ones as long as we know Christ. There is great comfort in that...