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Being a Widow

My experience of dealing with grief as a widow

Astrocytoma

About Jane's brain tumour journey: Astrocytoma.co.uk
 

Christmas without Jane

19 December 2011

When Jane died in May this year, Christmas seemed a century away. I was looking at surviving hour by hour, day by day. Losing my 27 year-old wife to a brain tumour after 8 years together was enough to handle. I thought that by the time Christmas came around, I would be over the worst and more than able to deal with it.

Jane in the snow. Christmas 2010.
Wrong.

Grief is not about how long it has been since I last saw Jane. How long since I last held her hand, that morning in the hospice when she took her last breath. It is about going through this new life, having to do everything on my own again. Every day brings a new 'first'. First dinner party without Jane. First camping trip without Jane. First evening of coming home after work to an empty house.

First Christmas without Jane.

We loved Christmas. We knew last year it would be Jane's last and having a white Christmas was so perfect. The photos of Jane in the snow are incredibly dear to me now. I want to be with Jane this Christmas and if that is not possible, I want to be with someone who was close to her. Unfortunately I have very little contact with Jane's family so they are not an option. My folks live in The Netherlands. They want to give me comfort and warmth and share my pain. But they only knew Jane through me, from our 2 visits per year.

I have found a compromise. I am spending Christmas in the USA with Jane's best friend who moved out there a few months after the funeral. Away from everything that reminds me of Jane, this friend has new stories to tell, photos to share, tears to cry. Yes, I will have to face it next year, but for now, escaping into memories is the best I can do.

(This is the text I submitted for an article in DIVA Magazine about surviving Christmas this year. It was published in their January/February 2012 issue which you can order on the DIVA website.)

2 comments:

terryd said...

Sounds like a great plan. Glad you are doing it.

Dutchcloggie said...

I am at the airport waiting to check in as we speak!

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