I know some people are hurting this holiday season and I feel for you. Just know that you’re not alone.
It’s about that time of year where I get off social media because, no offense, but I just don’t care about your beaming families and 30 year traditions.
For me, every year has gotten progressively less traditional. Nothing is forever, as we know. Growing up it was me, mom and dad. We’d see each set of grand parents and then head home. Then my mom’s mom died when I was in the fifth grade. Christmas then became a visit to my dad’s parents, but it was still a good time. The three of us, my grandparents, and my two aunts. This is was the fam squad for all holidays and I have some really fond memories. Yes, we were small, but we were tight and I was happy.
Since 2010, my one aunt moved out of state, my parents divorced, my grandfather died, my aunt moved back, I moved out of state, my grandmother went into a nursing home, and I moved back. This little family was torn in so many directions, but it was all pretty “normal” life stuff.
But now William is gone. William was my mom’s life partner of seven years. He was it for her. But, he was murdered right before Thanksgiving.
I cannot wrap my head around the fact that it’s been over a month. It has been the biggest whirlwind of my life. I tired to pull it together for my finals but inevitably I took an incomplete for a class. I was totally vacant for at least two weeks during school. I had no concept of time and no perception of reality. Same with my mom. I was with her a lot, too. That’s all that really mattered to me at that point.
So apparently Christmas is 2 days away. No idea how that happened. I haven’t bought anything for anyone. I think it’s because I now realize that things don’t matter. Things don’t make a difference. My mom has a house full of things, but she’s still sad. I have an apartment with things in it, but I’m still sad. William has a home with his things in it, but he doesn’t even get to enjoy them. If he was still here we would all be a lot happier. That’s all I can think about.
So this Christmas my mom will probably be really sad, and apparently I’m sad, too. I just didn’t realize it until I was sitting in bed this morning and thinking that this was day 3 of being home and in bed. I think some people call that depression. Lol. In addition to sadness, my dad went out of state for the holiday and I’m essentially without a partner. So, my mom and I will have breakfast at my aunts, and my grandmother, two aunts and I are going out to lunch. Quite the change from my past, but I’m still trying to be positive.
In the future, I’d like to start something new. Nothing over the top, but something that I know will happen every year–a tradition. While I keep putting myself in situations that will prevent me from having such thing, I hope one day I allow myself to create something authentic with my own family. I always imagined that eventually I would be able to invite both of my parents and their partners over, and have one big family holiday, along with my own family. I honestly thought that would be obtainable at some point in the future, but when William died that small dream died, too.
This time last year I was in Colorado and I was happy. I was just about to start the grad school application process. I was flying home with a heavy suitcase full of local booze for the family and life was too fucking good.
This year I may be sad in some areas, but so far I have straight A’s in grad school. I have one final left to complete and I need a 93 on it to get an A in the class. (so wish me luck!) I’m really thankful for an amazing MPH program, an incredible cohort of BCH students, profound professors, and friends that brought me dinner, sent me care packages, called me to see how I was doing, and everything in between. A special shout out to my new roommate is insanely kind, drinks tea with me every night, and helped me clean up cat shit last night when I was about to have a mental break down. You are -the- best.
On that note, I need to get myself together and head to the big city.