Just Frances

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A Christmas graduation

This entry was posted on Friday, December 23rd, 2016 by Frances Ryan.
Tags: widowhood, sad, happy, friends, fear, faith, crazy, confession, celebrations

It’s Christmas Eve Eve (which means that tomorrow is Christmas Eve) and I am acutely aware that this Christmas is different from all of my previous “post-widowhood” Christmases. I feel, I don’t know. I feel less sad. Not happy; not cheerful and Christmassy. Just, not sad. It’s almost as if I’ve graduated from the deep sadness that comes with a widowed Christmas and I’ve moved into a slightly melancholy, not sad, but not happy, place for the holiday season.

I don’t know what’s different with this Christmas. I am still very lonely. I still miss Paul with all of my being. I still feel alone and isolated and just, well, alone. I feel alone.

But for some reason, I don’t feel as sad about being alone this year. I haven’t felt a deep need to avoid all things Christmas at all costs.

I have managed to go to the Edinburgh Christmas Market twice now—each time feeling the Christmas Spirit living in my heart and soul. I’ve managed to do my Christmas shopping without tears or emotional wobbles. And I’ve managed to enjoy Christmas movies and music without being overcome with sad emotions.

I suppose that the biggest difference this year is that I am feeling more confident with my future. I am feeling as if I have my PhD under control (ish) and that my future is looking bright.

These positive feelings have made it easier for me to accept invitations to a friend’s house for Christmas, and to another friend’s house for New Year’s Eve. (It helps that both friends will allow me to cry if my emotions do take over at some point. It always helps when friends let you cry should the need arise!

So yeah. This Christmas has been rather cheerful for me. (Though I have cried a bit whilst sharing this post. But that’s because of the bitter-sweet feelings that come with not crying.) I don’t know what future Christmases will bring, and I have to accept that future Christmases may see me taking an emotional step backwards. But I also have to hope that future Christmases bring me more joy like this one; that they bring me a sense of peace and happiness. Because I miss being filled with such joy and happiness at Christmas. And I know in my heart and soul that Paul would want me to be happy. On Christmas, and every other day of the year!

I am looking forward to spending the holidays with friends this year. In fact, I am just looking forward to Christmas, in general, this year. And as the friend I’m spending Christmas with is an old university friend of Paul’s (and a very special, important friend of mine!) it will be like he will be there with us, laughing and celebrating.

I hope that this Christmas season has brought all of you the same feelings of peace and joy that I’m feeling.

Comments

Oh Frannie - I know the emptiness may never fade but hearing your sadness is lightening makes heart heart happy for you!

by Helen at 8:58pm (GMT) on December 26th, 2016

Thank you, Helen! It really has been a (almost entirely) happy holiday season - thanks in a large part to my friends here who let me be sad if I need to be sad. That “permission” to feel my emotions really does help me to feel happier!

All my love to you and the rest of the T Family for a wonderful 2017!! <3

by Just Frances at 3:44pm (GMT) on January 2nd, 2017

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