Headed into the 4th set of holidays without Clayton and the 5th set without my father I’m spending more time remembering my growth instead of my grief.
Walking into the woods of widowhood surrounded by the first Fall after losing Clayton and I had no idea how to handle things. Here came the gatherings, the get-togethers and the heaviness of the holidays. How was I going to make it through this first season of sadness? I distinctly remember Halloween gifting me the cloak I needed to hide from the holidays – a man behind the mask. What I didn’t know is that Halloween mask would stay for a while to haunt me.
I learned quickly to flash the smile of the season when someone would say “Happy Holidays” and “seasons greetings”. I couldn’t be thankful. It was definitely not the most wonderful time of the year. Soon enough, the sadness changed to anger and wondering why everyone else got to have holidays as I widowed the winter. Bereavement was bitter cold.
Each year following that first Fall I have gone back to putting on that mask. Spreading what seasonal smiles I could to sweeten the air and appease others spirits. This year Fall has felt different. I spent more time cultivating myself through the spring, growing through the summer and this Fall brings something I never thought I’d do again – I’m harvesting the happy.
This holiday season, moments won’t be under a mask…