Past years found me waking up early (yes, even in my thirties), excited to open presents. Like most people, I enjoy receiving presents. I also like giving presents and seeing the look on a person’s face when they open a perfect, well thought out gift. This year could not have been more different.
I woke up super early, as I have been doing since my mother died. Unless I have what I call middle of the night insomnia, I can’t sleep past 4 or 5 in the morning. As soon as I am awake enough to have clear thoughts, one of the first thoughts I have is that she is gone. After that, I cannot fall back asleep. I ended up reading for a while, then I wound up in my mother’s room. My sister and I have disassembled the bed and packed up some of her belongings because it was too painful to look at the room as it was when she was still alive.
My mother’s cremated remains rest atop her chest of drawers. It felt right to return her to the room where she spent so much time. I stood in front of her remains sobbing. That was the gist of Christmas for me.
I felt self-imposed pressure to make the holidays as normal as possible, but I could not find the motivation or desire to do so. I barely decorated and didn’t buy most people presents. Maybe next year. Maybe not.
How was this year’s holiday season different for you?