12.22.2010

breakables

So.

I've had a really bad, defeated attitude lately.  One that doesn't feel normal for me or all that familiar.  A good part of it has to do with processing my grandma's death.   It isn't so much missing her, even though I do miss her.  I am used to missing her.  I missed her all the time.  Every conversation I had with her after we moved away from her town 15 years ago included the sentence, "I miss you so much, I wish I could see you more."

In a couple of days we are going to have Christmas.  It is going to go on the same as it does every year.  This year, knowing that her house, my favorite house in the world, the one that gave me the coziest most definitive Christmases of my life, is empty?  That those people and that place are just... gone?  That is wrecking my joy.  It's depressing.  It's kind of like someone came and pulled the tablecloth right out from under all of my glass parts.  I am used to having the breakable pieces of my mind and heart lined up a certain way, and even though they are all still there and in the same order, they are resting on something different now.  Life feels less rich. 

I want and need to focus on my babies and husband and home and new traditions; on making our home a place where we can have cozy, definitive Christmases, together.  I can't wait to give that to them.  This year I am just a little low on energy.  This year I will have to fake it a little.

-
i made these cookies with my kids and my little brothers from trader joe's boxed mix. fake-fake-faker.

23 comments:

  1. i was in the shower about an hour ago, thinking about a post i wanted to write, and it was so similar to this.

    and as i was conjuring my post up in my head, i was thinking about you, and how you might be feeling during the holidays, and i wondered if it was like how i am feeling.

    so, please believe me when i say, i know exactly how you feel. i am looking forward to christmas, but there is a part of me that feels a big, fat emptiness.

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  2. I bought a "GIANT gingerbread man" decorating kit from Trader Joe's about a week ago - and it was AWFUL. In fact, it tasted like cardboard. Even my 4-year-old agreed and threw her piece away. It was THAT bad. (But it looked cute).

    stephanie@metropolitanmama.net

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  3. it's definitely hard to lose a loved one, especially when that loss comes loss of traditions as well. but i'm sure you'll come to find comfort in finding your own rhythm and creating a new set of traditions. even if it means faking it for a while.

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  4. Thank you for sharing.

    My friend's husband died this summer and your words help me to understand her a bit more.

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  5. I totally understand...this is the first Christmas without my grandfather and I'm finding it really, really hard to have joy and be excited about Christmas.

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  6. I'm sorry Erin :( I know how much you loved your grandparents and it doesn't seem fair when they are taken from us. It makes every day hard but especially the holidays. I'm thinking of you...enjoy your beautiful babies :) xoxo

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  7. Perspectives. What you might feel is faking, your kids and husband probably see as strength, as you pushing through a wickedly difficult time, to bring some semblance of normalcy to a special time. It's okay for Christmas to feel different and it's okay for Christmas to be bittersweet. But I will bet, that for someone in your immediate circle of friends and family, your "faking" is making their holiday less bitter and more sweet.

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  8. I understand. Completely.

    Nell

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  9. I'm sorry that you're feeling so down. One positive to keep in mind is that you are teaching your kids how to mourn. Mourning is honoring your own needs and its just as valid as making christmas cookies from scratch. It is what it is. I hope you guys have a wonderful holiday, even if it is a little out-of-traditional-spirit and calmer.
    jeanine

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  10. sometimes you need to fake it to than truly realize how much you enjoy it.. it will take time to adjust but the fact that you will feel the spirit of your grandmother every single christmas because of the amazing memories you had together.. that my friend can't be faked, and you will feel that all day long

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  11. To this day I miss my Grandma every day. She died when I was in 4th grade. I am 35 years old now. But I miss her most of all at Christmas. So every year I do Christmas things that I used to do with her, like bake cut out sugar cookies, and that's when I most feel her here with me.

    I wish you the sweetest Christmas and lots of new traditions and love with your family. Cherish all the memories you are making for your children.

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  12. you know, i was thinking about this subject while i was christmas shopping. i was looking for a present for my grandfather, except, he died two years ago. i started getting bummed out and thinking christmas isn't the same, it doesn't feel like when i was little. or even just a few years ago when my grandfather was around.

    so then i started wondering, was my grandfather thinking things like this when he was alive? that christmas hadn't been the same for HIM since HIS grandparents died?

    i'm not sure, because i can't ask him. but i think his joy at christmas was us, and now that he's gone he would want my christmas joy to be my little nieces and nephews. it's just this switch that has to happen. it becomes about someone else. and it doesn't make the memories or feelings or past christmas times less. it just makes them a wonderful time to remember, and something to strive to achieve for (and with) the new generations of your family.

    this year i kept waiting to feel excited about christmas, like i did when i was little. and i waited, and waited, and waited. and suddenly it dawned on me. that christmas spirit used to come to me because someone *brought* it to me. my parents, my grandparents, got me excited, talked about santa, asked me to help them decorate. now i'm an adult and i'll be excited about christmas when i bring that christmas spirit to someone else.
    it happened for me when i gave a candy cane to a little girl and her eyes lit up and she grabbed it in her chubby little fingers and looked at it like it was the BEST thing ever, then she gave me a HUGE grin and ran back to her mum. i almost cried and i was like "oh, THERE you are christmas! where the heck have you been?!"

    anyway, i know it will be a tough year, with the loss of your gram so close. and i know i'm a total stranger, and what the hell do i know? but i just thought i would share, because i hate to think of you feeling sad.

    xo

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  13. If it makes you feel any better, I'm faking it this Christmas too. I didn't even buy the box (I looked at it) I went for the break and bake and packaged icing.

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  14. I'm so sorry- I know this is a hard time. But you aren't really faking it, you're surviving. There's a difference, I think. You have a good heart and you should celebrate this Christmas extra hard for your Grandma. She would love it just like she loved you so much.

    So many hugs-
    Steph

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  15. I faked it through Thanksgiving and it worked beautifully. You're lovely so your faking will probably cause unicorn double-rainbows.

    Isn't it strange how some of us found you and now, this year, are all feeling the same? I think we cross paths for a reason.

    I'm the one looking out for the big fat snowflakes.

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  16. Big tight hug to you Erin. Everyone grieves in their own way, and their is no" time heals all wounds." You just need to let things move in a natural way, but from what you have written about your grandmother, and the beautiful pictures I saw of her, she has a beautiful soul, that had a wonderful life on this planet, and gave you the tools to be a caring mother and person. Celebrate the memory of her life.
    Merry Christmas to your and your beautiful family.

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  17. Your Christmas home is imprinting beautiful memories for your kids even in your time of mixed emotions. It is full of beautiful Christmas decorations (wish I was there to put watch you put them up this year), I know it is full of classic Christmas music, and kids have no idea that those cookies were not entirely made from scratch. They were Christmas cookies. They were decorated. Clark & Alice will just remember how fun it was to sprinkle sugar and eat them. That is a big accomplishment in a house with three little kids, so, good job.

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  18. You're from La Porte? So am I! I know exactly how you're feeling, too. I lost my grandfather this past April and I haven't been back to La Porte, or the house he shared with my grandmother, since. It makes it easier to deal with if I can just pretend he's still up there giving my grandma a hard time, like always, and not, just, gone. I have the card from his funeral and a tiny little bottle of his ashes proudly displayed in my great room, but even that doesn't make the picture of him sitting at home in his chair any less real.

    I'm here for you if you need to talk, or even if you want to relive some Slicer days.

    itswhatkatiedid at gmail dot com

    **hugs**

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  19. What's that saying ? "Fake it til you make it"?

    It's hard, I know, but you have beautiful company to help cheer you up.

    Here's praying you have a warm, loving, blessed Christmas.

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  20. I'm so sorry, Erin. I understand. While I didn't live with my grandparents, I was very close to my grandpa I get what you mean about not having that resting place, that foundation anymore, and about life being a little less rich because of the loss.

    In my own experience, I can tell you that as your process and then look around some more, you see that richness carried out from them through other people whose lives they touched. And you are part of that richness from your grandparents. You are, and you're passing it on to your kids and you will see it in them - that heritage, and you will feel so fully their presence even when they have long passed.

    Love to you, and merry christmas, my friend.

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  21. Oh honey. You know I understand. The holidays are not what they should be for me this year, either, after losing my dad.

    On the other hand...your cookies are NOT fake, mix or no mix. Your effort and love still went into them. They count. It all counts.

    Big hugs.

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  22. well atleast you used trader joes boxed mix :-) if ur gunna fake it, you used the best!

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  23. ugh. I get the breakable.

    wanna come over next week? We can sit and eat sandwiches, while our kids run crazy?

    Sounds perfect to me.

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