So what is really rambling around in my thoughts right now? Well, so many things I can't think straight would be a good start. Many people think the holidays are tough for me directly because of the effect of Mike's suicide on me. Not really. Most the time he didn't get me anything or do anything special for the holidays anyway. Our family did lots and he would often participate. Not always, but many times when I think of fun family activities it was just the kids and I. On Christmas Eve Mike would do a little program, but for many of our family activities he was in the background or even absent.
What is the hardest for me is watching how it effects my kids. My friend said it best recently when she wrote to me "...suicide loss does not "heal." The effects may stabilize, but the loss is forever felt. Personal values and beliefs are shattered. The individual is changed emotionally." Marie has a family to focus on, Jeffrey has a future family to focus on, but Rachel is the one I feel bad for. I purposely take off around holidays to keep her mind busy and thinking about the present and not the past. This year for many reasons I won't go into, she requested to stay home. We still have 4 days before Christmas and this one has been the hardest so far. I can only imagine what she was expecting to happen, but none of it is and most likely will not.
It is my job as a mother to help my children. It is not meddling or causing drama when I need to find out if something is truly wrong or it it is just growing pains. For me this is even more important. I find I watch my kids more then normal to make sure there is no signs of real depression, like their father had. I watch for unusual behavior and yes, sometimes I act too quickly out of the love and concern I have for them. Fortunately when it comes to Jeffrey and Rachel it is always growing pains. Lessons that are hard to learn in life but will make you stronger in the end.
So how do Rachel and I get through this Christmas and New Year with just the two of us. Sounds kind of pathetic to do all the traditional cooking and activities with just the two of us. We have been invited to join a few families, and no offense to them but Rachel would rather at least be around kids her own age. It is tough during the holidays because it is a family time, so families like to be together. I guess that is where we were different and maybe she doesn't understand that. Our home was always open especially during the holidays.
We have a 'Red Plate' that Mike would set on the table every Christmas Eve dinner. It was a place set for Christ so He would know He was welcome at our table. On the rare occasion that someone showed up during Christmas dinner, well that is where they were sat. 'Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.'
I am fine staying home alone or with Donna or going to one of the places we were invited. There are a lot of emotional triggers. Rachel, well I wish she could be surround by loving friends on Christmas Eve or day even if just for an hour, but I doubt she will impose and I will be left to deal with her sadness, and then we get to do it all over again on New Year's Eve and day. This is one break that I can't wait until it is over.
Jeffrey have fun back east with the future in-laws and don't forget to call on Christmas.
Marie and Chris, have fun with Ethan on Christmas and have him call me!