'Tis the Optional Season!
For the past two years, we have not "done" Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is now just three weeks away. From this distance, we are thinking maybe we can have the family over again (just our little family - our son Nathan, our son Rollin, his wife/our daughter-in-law Stephanie, and their baby/our new grand baby Ellie). But then again, we pause, and question ourselves…
Are we lying to ourselves???
What can and can't we do these days?
How different are we?
One hazard for me is having to celebrate the holiday at a certain given time, and I have no idea how I am going to be at that given time. Putting holiday pressure on myself (on top of my-already-demanding-grief) feels claustrophobic -- nowhere to run, nowhere to hide if all expectations are there to "perform."
There are cultural expectations for the holiday. There are familial expectations for the holiday, so there is some level of anxiety beginning to creep in. Early on in our grief, we didn't think in terms of options as we do now. We just felt we had to "celebrate." Now we give ourselves room to have "options"!
Otherwise, it seems like a "holiday" could easily turn into a "get-through-it" day.
So a day that should be "special" for the intended sweetness entailed in it, could become more like a "going through the motions" day, just trying to keep our deep sorrow at bay…
Last year, my family-of-origin down in Georgia had a combination Thanksgiving Dinner AND Birthday Celebration for my precious mother. I knew I could not do that get-together because a large crowd of family is too overwhelming for my system now. But it made the holiday especially sad because I couldn't be with my mother to celebrate a special time with her. (What was great though was, as it turned out, my 97-year-old mother didn't even want to go!!!)
(I wish just my mother and I could have gotten together. That was our style when I went home to visit -- just she and I would spend time together, maybe one brother and his wife would come over for a little while, but most of the time, it was the two of us (and one of her helpers). We would have the best times together. Quality time. Relaxed. Unhurried. Special. Often we would laugh together. And often, we would cry together. (We were both child-loss parents, so we had that in common; we each "got it.") So sweet.
But, I digress… So as of right now, I have no idea what we'll do.
But I do hope for some sort of sweet quality fellowship with my precious "little" family.
We'll take it one step at a time and trust that the best solution surfaces . . .
What about you?
What are your holiday plans so far?