I have attempted to be pro-active when it comes to special dates and my grief.
My husband always wrote hand-written notes inside of the cards he gave me as well as underlining anything meaningful. I have saved them all (all? I hope so. I’m praying I still find a box or two hidden away somewhere I haven’t looked.) I recently divided them into piles: Valentines, Birthday, Anniversary, Mother’s Day and Just Because. It is my plan to read through each stack every year on its designated special day.
So the first “holiday” to test this pro-active plan was Valentines. I bought myself a bouquet of flowers and a small box of candy because my husband always did. In the afternoon I sat down with a hot cup of coffee and my stack of cards. I read through every one and cried, but it was still a sweet time. I got through Valentine’s Day.
But the next day (and the next) I was a mess. And it was hard.
His birthday followed in March. Again, I decided to be pro-active and create a plan. I booked three nights at a Bed & Breakfast. I took books, writing materials, and bubble bath (and wine). The first day was okay. I enjoyed the local boutiques and kept myself busy. But I only lasted one night before I packed my bags and came back home.
And the next day (and the next few) I was a mess. And it was hard.
Now that I’ve come through Christmas, Valentines and his birthday, what I have learned is, even with being pro-active “on the day,” I can’t get away from the hard. In the next six weeks, we’ll celebrate my birthday, Mother’s Day and our anniversary. That’s a lot of hard.
I’ve kind of lost my momentum to be pro-active. I think I’m just going to let the day be what it is. Because no matter how well I plan or how many distractions I put into place, I can’t get away from the hard.
But I’ve also learned that I’m strong and I rebound after a few days. The tough special days come and go. They are hard and I cry more on those days. But that’s okay.
It’s okay to just let it be hard.