Happy almost-holidays season everyone! I know most of you are likely already in the full swing of things by now. Trees, lights, decorations. All the glitter, and all the rest. I know at our place there are a few too many snowmen, snow-penguins, snow-bears, snow-mooses… And, pretty well every other morphed Christmas animal you can possibly think of.
While, I do enjoy Christmas. Holidays are just never the same as they once were for me. Especially Christmas. It’s typically an emotionally enduring time of the year. As it is Christmas. It’s a special time of the year. But, ever since I’ve lost my sister, It’s never quite been the same. It’s hard. Actually, most holidays are just different now. My birthday & Christmas are often the toughest. And, that usually results in me being referred to as “the grinch” by my girlfriend. But, it’s not that I hate the holidays, I most certainly do not. But, maybe as some others can understand after your life changes drastically as a result of losing someone close… And, as I have mentioned before. Nothing is ever again the same, and nothing is again as it easy as it once was. Ever.
Christmas used to be my favorite time of the year. I longed for it every day as soon it turned December 26th – I couldn’t wait for the next Christmas Day. I think up until I was 15 or so. My average of sleep on christmas eve was likely 3 hours. I could never sleep Christmas Eve. Just way too excited. Albeit, I was a kid. A lot of it was, I just couldn’t wait to open up gifts, and get spoiled by my parents, grandparents and rest of my family. Then, as I grew up, it became less about the gifts (while I still thoroughly enjoyed them, and still do now!) But, it became more about spending time with those close too me, that I may otherwise not be able to see as often as I would like. As my sister lived in Victoria, we only were able to get together a few times a year. Which… still haunts me today.
Anyway. Christmas was always a special time because I got to spend it with Jen, my parents, my brother, and my grandparents. I can remember just waking up in the morning, and being so excited to just hang out, throw gifts around and watch everyone else just enjoy being together. This is exactly what Christmas is about. Family, laughing, and being in the company of those whom matter the most. And, as you grow up, you realize this. And I think that’s part of why Christmas now is a little bit more difficult. We are missing one. I think too, I had just really gotten myself to the point of truly realizing what Christmas is about, and then suddenly we were without Jen. While, every day is difficult after a tragedy. Some days are worse than others. But, holidays. They’re just never the same. Again. As much as you try and fake it, make some kind of shitty attempt to place normalcy into your days, and into your Christmas festivities… It doesn’t matter. It all just amounts to trying too hard in hoping to be able to fake it, get through, and continue on in our own world of denial. Ultimately… Just making the days and the season all the more difficult. Then, in turn, you just kind of float through the days. Doing your best to completely avoid the traditions that make Christmas. All the while, just feeling completely empty and emotionless. Raw.
Now, I should never complain, because my holidays seasons the last few years have been quite extravagant, and I have been extremely fortunate and lucky to have spent the last 2 in Hawaii. And, while as great as Hawaii is, and I do get to go with some people that do mean the world too me. The last couple Christmas that I have been in Hawaii, I have not been with my family. Which is sometimes difficult because I know that holidays for them are never quite the same, either. So you want to be together to try and help them cope…But, I think, why I have enjoyed going to Hawaii so much the last few years, is not just because it’s Hawaii. But, because it’s almost like… It’s… It’s not real. It’s not Christmas. Even though it may be December 25th… It’s +28, people are in shorts, the beach, the ocean, everything that goes with Hawaii. It’s not what I have been accustomed too. It’s not tradition. And, tradition is easier to avoid. And, the other part that has made the past few I think… manageable, maybe, is I haven’t been with my family. I’ve been with people that Christmas to them is as normal as it should be. As much as I try, and I think my family does as well to instill normalcy into our lives, like I said, we sometimes just try too hard and make it worse. So, the last few, while I have thought about Jen a tonne. It’s never really been talked about, or apart of the “Christmas Celebration” except in my own head, I guess. Because, I have been by myself, and with my girlfriends family. But, Christmas has been manageable, ultimately, because, I have ran away from what has made it so difficult in the past.
But, I know that I can’t go on like this forever, because, it is the holidays, and at some point I need to enjoy them as much as I once did, or, at the very least, make some sort of attempt to do so. While I also need to stop running away from the problem. And, I think this year I am going to have an opportunity to do so. While, in stages. I think what is different this year, and is going to allow me to possibly cope with this season is, I have come to terms with my own mental illness, and I think I have maybe, finally accepted that Jen is gone. And, she is never coming back…..As hard as that is to admit. It’s reality. And, I think, I have finally realized that. Despite how hard I sometimes try to bring her back.
Also, on Christmas day, this year; I will be at home, in Calgary. While, away from my family still, and likely just myself at home. I will see again what Christmas is, and I think being right-square in the middle of the lights, the snow, just that aura of Christmas, that you don’t find in Maui. I think that is going to be Step 1 of coping, and attempting normalcy these holidays. Step 2. I leave to Hawaii ( as per usual ) on Jan. 1. However, different this year is my mom, my grandma, grandpa, brother and my niece Abbey (Jen’s daughter) will all be there. Our family will finally be back together for Christmas. Missing Jen but, I know that she will be there. I get to spend the holidays with my family again… And, in an environment to me, that just isn’t “holiday real” – Just as I like, and for now, need. But, we are all going to be there together. Going through it. Together.
December through January isn’t the same for anyone in my family anymore. And, instead of running away from the process, we will finally be able to go at it in unison once again. Which, I am thoroughly excited for. It’s still going to be different, and always will be. And, maybe I am still partially running away from this by going to Maui. But, I am entirely fine with that. So, in stages I hope to be able to enjoy a Christmas holiday season as close to normal as I possibly ever can. Just without the tree, pajama pants, hot chocolates and christmas themed wrapped gifts. I am not ready for that yet.
I know it will never be the same as it was. No matter how hard I try. I am just excited to be able to do it together, with my mom, my grandparents, Brody & Abbey. Our way of coping with Christmas… Is too run away from it, but I am happy that we have decided to finally do this together.
Some people I am sure probably don’t, and won’t understand why we continue to run away during the holidays. Some argue it’s the best time to be in Alberta. Sure. But, like I said… It’s different for us. Remember in my last blog, or a few blogs back I mentioned the feeling I had driving to my sister’s funeral in Victoria. I’d just expected the entire world to stop. And, when I drove to the church, and saw people getting their mail, walking their dogs, having coffee and laughing. It fucking pissed me off. I just couldn’t believe people were getting on with their lives. My world has just halted, instantly. And, I expected everyone elses did too. How could they continue? But, really, of course people are going to get on with their lives. It didn’t happen to them, but still, I couldn’t believe it. That’s exactly how Christmas is for me now. We used to always gather at the decorated Christmas tree in the living room, while in our pajamas, enjoying a coffee, hot chocolate, or an orange juice…Whatever it was. We’d sit there in our pajamas and throw gifts to each other, celebrate and embrace. We did Christmas. We did it right. All of us. Now… I just can’t do it. I can’t do tradition. During Christmas I always get that same feeling I had en route to Jen’s funeral. I, for some reason, just can’t imagine people doing what we used too, doing what you’re supposed to do. I can’t fathom it. And, I don’t want to see it. Just like I didn’t want too see that man walking his dog that morning. It’s doesn’t seem real. It’s hard. So, I leave so I can avoid it. Christmas is different.
That said, I am certainly not the grinch, as some of you might conclude after reading this. I still enjoy the holidays. And, I wish nothing but the best too everyone else during them. Actually, I wish more than that. I hope that you thoroughly enjoy that time around the tree tossing gifts to one another. Having that mocha or hot chocolate with your brother and/or sister in your pajama pants decorated with reindeer and Santa’s. Please enjoy this moment. This is what it is about. Enjoy it the most. It may, now seem trivial, and “just part of it”. But, trust me. It isn’t. It’s more than that. Because, you never know if you will be able to have this special opportunity again. So, please. Enjoy Christmas. Be grateful, and understand what it truly is about. Family. Not the cash that you get. Not the toys. It’s your family. And it’s that one really special time of the year. So, while, I run away to the tropics to avoid tradition. I urge all of you to run to the tree, with your brothers and sisters, Even if you see them every single day, and scrap for the majority of those days. Please, for me, soak it all in. Enjoy Christmas. Because, this is what I miss the most, and I will never get back.… Enjoy one for me.
– Happy Holidays too all of my readers!