Wednesday, December 16, 2020

All I want for Christmas...

As this very difficult holiday season moves into gear, I am moved to do as many do and write about the gifts we want. Not me as a writer, but me as a person who is struggling with a grief that is sometimes hard to bear, or to tell apart from depression (note: I understand there is a difference between grief and depression. But they can feel an awful lot alike). So here is...

What the Grieving Widow* Wants for Christmas

Okay, the answer to that is obvious. But even in my most irrational moments, some part of my brain knows I can't have what I really want (the science-fiction lover in me would vote for time travel so I can fix it myself). So what do I want that I *can* have?

1. The ability to remember that those horrible moments when the world is a sucking black hole won't last forever. I don't mean won't last as in I'll be less devastated in a year or two, but awareness that the black hole comes and goes on a pretty short cycle. If I can hold on for an hour or a day, I'll find that the world has some color again.

2. I'm certainly not alone in this one, but I would really like this stinking, rotten, lousy COVID to be gone, so I can go get all the hugs I need from all my friends. I don't know if I wanted to hold a funeral, but I am pretty mad at the virus for not even giving me that choice.

3. Notes and cards. All those people who sent stuff in the first weeks are vastly appreciated. I still need you.

4. Someone to share the little decisions. Okay, that's kind of wishing him back again. But seriously, I don't know how all you single parents and lone people out there do it. I managed somehow for a lot of years, but I'm used to being a pair now, and it's hard.

5. Okay, the writer wants something, too. Aside from sales (what we always want), I want people to let me know they are reading my books, and let me know when something I write gives them pleasure. A review won't hurt, but you don't have to do that. Just let me know I'm not writing into a void.

*I really hate that word "widow." But there it is. Also, I had to edit this and remove a lot of cuss words.

There it is, and thanks for letting me rant. I am very grateful for amazingly supportive family and friends who have held me together so far, and show no signs of letting go. I'm especially grateful to have some of them around me this Christmas, which we all know is going to kind of suck.


  1. I am sending as many positive thoughts and prayers as I can out into the world this holiday season for anyone and everyone who is hurting. This most definitely includes you and your family. Please take care of yourself, Rebecca, and hang in there the best you can.

  2. Yes, I agree that depression and grief seem alike in a lot of ways. I still experience that black hole and missing my husband after 6+ years. But I can say that those times do last for a shorter period of time and you do have more times where you feel better, even if you don't feel as happy as you once did. Everyone goes through the process in their own time. My heart totally goes out for you during this hard first Christmas. Don't forgot that I'm hear for you if you want to email or talk.

    1. And being grateful for at least three things everyday helps. I've also been more conscious of the gifts my husband left me, like my dog that we got a year before he died. It's my first dog, and she helps me not feel so alone. Also I just took widow benefits and could cut back to part-time work that I didn't think was possible. I bet you can see some gifts your husband left too.

    2. Natalie, thank you. Yes, at Thanksgiving I had to make myself look and see how much I still have to be grateful for. Dave left me a lot of gifts, not least of which was financial security and two wonderful sons :)

  3. Dear Rebecca - very late in getting here ... though everytime I've seen a comment from you, or (yet - dare I say it) another post ... I feel ashamed at not having commented. We can't understand ... though I most certainly feel for you - in all its aspects ... and admire that you're back here - amongst your friends. You can and are going on ... re the dreaded multiplier - I sincerely hope it will be gone soon, though not that quickly ... still at least we have brilliant scientists who are helping ... while we must just stay safe. With thoughts and hugs from across the ocean - by the time they arrive they'll be safe! All the best - Hilary


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