Christmas is by far the hardest time of the year following the death of someone you love. No matter how long it has been, it always feels like a shadow looms over you as the festive period approaches.
This is our third Christmas without Jason.
This year feels just as hard as the first, and the second.
My anxiety levels get higher as Christmas approaches. I feel a massive weight of self doubt and insecurity. The small things stress me out.
Christmas is the only time of the year when the majority of people get some time off work. It is everyone’s ‘family time’. They count down to when they finish work, and when their family can be all together for the holidays. The excitement builds around me, yet I am waiting for nothing.
There is no break.
Countdown to Christmas for me, is a countdown to feeling like a burden. Not wanting to impose on my friend’s ‘family time’ they have so desperately waited for. Not wanting to seem needy to those around me because I don’t want to be alone. Being worried to say ‘actually, this is really hard’ because people expect you to be doing ok now.
So I do what I do best. I paint on the smile and give life all the enthusiasm I can manage. I fill my time with the boys with tonnes of amazing memories, and live through their eyes. Underneath the fun I may be struggling, but I won’t spoil the innocence of their Christmas.
Fake it until you make it! Or at least until January when normal service resumes.