Somewhere in the wee hours of morning, between midnight and 4 am, I was given a special Christmas gift. My subconscious took me to a place I haven’t been in a very long time. It’s a place I’ve always felt safest, warmest and most loved. I fell asleep sometime after wrapping the boy’s last gifts, and before the first one of them stirred wearily wondering if Santa had come, I had a dream. During this short time, the magic of Christmas came to me.
This Christmas season, I’ve been using my supreme gift of denial to survive my grief. In years past, I’ve been able to submerge myself into the seasonal songs, food, memories and events. This submerging always with a high cost though…my own pain. My heartache from missing my husband is heightened when I allow myself to experience the holidays and experience…and well, experience my pain. So this year, I took a different road and have been trying denial. I haven’t listened to much Christmas music. I put off my shopping until the last minute, and if you read my last post, you know that my oven is broken, so the Christmas goodies and food are not pouring out of my kitchen.
This denial was working…until I fell asleep last night. The magic of Christmas brought me into the arms of my husband. We were in our old room (I’ve moved since he died). We were in the place I always felt safest…our home, our room, his arms. The dream took me all over the place looking for something, I didn’t know what…until I was there. There he was, handsome as ever, healthy and just waiting for me to arrive. He held me and in the way that I miss so much, he told me that everything would be ok. I really miss that.
My husband was a holiday guy. He loved Christmas. He wore the silly hats, put a wreath that lit up on his truck and lit our house with lights that were marvelous. Every trip he made to Walgreens during the season brought home another Christmas adornment for our yard or home. He was happy, laid back and fun to be with…he had the spirit of the season. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but he also had the best hugs. He was a gentle giant. He was this great big, strong, dark haired, dark eyed man with the gentlest warm hug.
So anyway, last night I got my Christmas hug. I had my moment with him again. The moment felt so real. It felt so real that I told myself to wake up because he must be here and I’d miss him if I was sleeping. I roused myself only to lose the warmth and find myself in my bedroom, in the dark, alone.
This morning, after the gifts were all opened, breakfast treats were made and little, remote control helicopters whizzed around the house, I found a moment of privacy…well, I took a shower. For the first time in a while, I wept in the shower. I wept joyfully for being able to feel him so near to me. I wept because I still miss him so much. I wept because it’s Christmas and I’m alone again. All that said, I am so glad that denial moved along. I am glad that today I will listen to music, eat yummy holiday treats, hug my children, talk about their dad and remember…and experience the joy and sadness that comes with it. I am glad to be reminded with great pain and heartache comes the knowledge that I loved deeply and was loved deeply by another…and that for me is the true magic of Christmas.