Yes! I have officially made it through all of the "first" holidays without Sammi. Being on this side of the holiday season, I can reflect and look back on everything, and I can definitely say that the anticipation of the holidays was the worse part. Leading up to each holiday, I tended to think about all the holidays of the past, and started to wonder what this holiday season would be like. How should you act that first holiday? I wondered if I should change the normal flow of the day, or if it was even ok to keep it the same and be happy.
Now that I have survived them, I can say what worked best for me. I kept a lot of our normal traditions, but I did change a couple little things, in order to create new traditions without Sammi. My other daughter is getting older and I actually gave her, her Christmas present early, and I made sure my soon-to-be-step-daughter was at her mother's house Christmas morning, so we were able to rearrange our Christmas Day schedule. We all slept in, casually had breakfast, then opened some presents. We visited some friends and family in a drive by/drop in fashion, then had immediate family come by at 5pm. At 6pm, we video chatted with our Florida family, and tears were shed when we unwrapped a personalized memorial wind chime for Sammi.
The biggest suggestion I have for anyone who has experienced a loss of a loved one, is allow yourself to feel. Allow yourself to feel all emotions. It is ok to cry, it is ok to laugh, and it is ok to feel everything you want and need to feel. It is healthy to have a moment where you break down and cry. It's also healthy to start laughing at yourself in the middle of that emotional break down.
This Christmas was one of the best ones I have ever had. I went into it with low expectations and I made myself stay relaxed. I made sure I was surrounded by family and loved ones all day, and that I allowed myself to remanence, miss, and feel. This easy-going vibe is what allowed me a day with no anxiety, and allowed me to be thankful for each and very moment I had. After all, that is really what it is all about; living the life that we are blessed with, in honor of those loved ones who no longer can.
Everyone says that the first year after losing a loved one is hard, and all the "firsts" are definitely proving to be big triggers for emotions. For me, it seems that the anticipation of a holiday ends up being worse than the actual holiday. The "first" Thanksgiving, the "first birthday, and the "first" Christmas without your loved one there will be the hardest. The week leading up to Thanksgiving was roller coaster of emotions. The few days before her birthday, December 13th, I was introverted and reflective. I tried to hold in my emotions and continue to go on with my life that day, but my face ended up exploding in tears that night as I blew out her birthday memorial candle. Now, with Christmas just around the corner, I have made plans to change our normal Christmas morning routine, and plan on trying to avoid anything and everything that may send me into an emotional spiral of grief on that day,
But is that what I should be doing? There is no right way or wrong way to grieve, but allowing yourself to feel is healthy. I have learned the hard way that locking in and pushing your feelings aside only bottles them up for a later, and greater release. So what is a good compromise for Christmas? How can I allow myself to grieve her absence from the present holiday, but still make good memories with my living loved ones to look back on and cherish down the road?
I am getting married in 2019!!! I am so excited! My fiancé and I have known each other for a little over 3 years now, and I can't imagine life without him. We have gone through so much together, and being "middle aged", we have had to learn how to help each other sort through all the baggage that we carry around. We were both married once before when we were really young, but needless to say, those marriages didn't work out. It's kind of funny that when we first met, we both said that we didn't want to get married ever again.
My fiancé is a big "nerd". He is a video game and comic junkie. He decided that he wanted his groomsmen to be the "Avengers". Now, I am not a big video game and comic lover, but I was able to find Infinity Stone necklaces, and decided that each one of my bridesmaids, the flower girl, and myself could wear one during the event. This was me trying to fit in with his vision. I want a shabby chic formal occasion, so the challenge has been how to incorporate the Avengers into our wedding, without it looking like a 5 year olds birthdate party. I think I have created some unique and classy pieces that I can't wait to share with everyone. This New Year, pending my lay off from work, I plan on starting a Wedding Series on my YouTube channel. I want to share my excitement and details with you so badly. I just can't help but throw my passions out into the world.
Our original budget had to be upped once we started to look at venues, caterers, and vendors, and now we are maxed out. There is still sooooo much more that we want to do with our wedding, but we are out of money. With me getting laid off in three weeks, it doesn't look like we will be able to come up with extra money for the "extras". If you would like to help us in having the most fabulous wedding ever, please check out my Amazon Wedding Wishlist, and send us something off of it. For ever item off of my wishlist that we receive, I will do a video on how I am going to use that item at our Wedding. Feel free to contribute more than one item. Some of them work best paired with another item on the wishlist.
I want to thank you in advance for being a supporter of my life! Your energy and thoughts have helped me through tough times this year. Without the kindness of friends, family, and complete strangers, I don't know how I would have made it this far, and I am sure everyone will continue to be as awesome and amazing in 2019.
Click Here to check out our Wish List: