For some time now, I’ve been dreading Christmas Day and the 31st of December, 2018. I’ll be ‘celebrating’ these two days without my mother in the house for the very first time. I burst into tears one day while praying because I couldn’t imagine shouting ‘Happy New Year’ in 2019. It feels like I’ll be leaving something so treasured behind in 2018 – my mother.
Maybe you feel this way too. Your mum died and now you’re trying to figure out how this festive season is supposed to be festive without her.
It’s not easy, there’s so much to think about, but I’ve decided to be as positive as I can be, and here are 3 things you (and I) can do this first Christmas without our mothers.
1. Continue Some of Her Traditions
The thought of this breaks my heart. This time last year, my mum and I went to the market to buy catfish and other stuff for Christmas. For her, catfish pepper soup was for special days and mostly for days when all her children were around. So, though I’ve never made catfish pepper soup before, I’ll be making some this Christmas. It might not taste as great as hers, but at least I can laugh in gratitude for the ability to continue something she loved.
You can do the same. Think of something your mum would have done this festive season and do it in honor of the beautiful life she lived.
2. Start New Traditions
I read a post a few weeks ago by a woman who has a special Christmas tradition in her home. Her children look forward to the end of the year because they know that Mummy and Daddy would have gifts for them and that they’d all get to sit by the Christmas tree and just enjoy being a family.
I don’t have any Christmas or end of year traditions yet, but I know one that I want to start. Life really is short and we should intentionally enjoy it. When someone dies, people rarely remember them for their cars or money, but the memories shared. I remember going home the week after Mummy died and bursting into tears as I touched all her clothes. Material things are just that – material, and one day, they’ll not matter as much. Start new traditions and build/capture new memories that will make you enjoy this season every year.
3. Be Thankful For the Little Things
This sounds cliche, until you find that it’s actually the little things that matter most. The care of a loving husband, the laughter of a child or niece, the friendships you enjoy, the bond between sisters or brothers, the memories of a loved one. As much as I’m allowed to cry and not hide my pain that my mum isn’t here, I am also thankful for a lot of things and people, including her.
I read recently that the dash on someone’s tombstone signifies a lot. My mum’s dash states 1954-2018, but it’s not just a dash, it’s a whole 64 years that she got to live. In those years, she got an education, thrived in life though she came from a very humble background, married and had four amazing children, maintained a business for so many years and took pride in her labour, never lived beyond her means and gave so much that even in death, she inspires me. It’s really the little things about her and about life that count the most for me, and I am grateful that I can see life positively.
Christmas day and New Year’s day will be without my mother and though that’s extremely painful, these three things will keep me sane and positive.
Oh, and though I addressed this to those who lost their mothers this year, it really is for anyone who has lost a loved one and will be living without them during Christmas for the first time.
Till next time.
Love and light,
Photo Credit: Dreamstime