We are at the center of possibly the hardest part of the year for most of us; the holidays.  The first holidays after I lost Barry were hard, but I had made the decision not to allow my grief to keep me in bed.  I got out of bed and I celebrated each in the ways that I wanted!  I didn't allow my family to dictate my agenda.  I went out and did the things I wanted to do.  I went to the movies, I drove around, I met with friends, etc.  I created new, happy memories.  At the same time, I kept all those previous holiday memories with Barry close to my heart.  Memories of our first Thanksgiving together.  Our first Christmas.  Our first New Year.  I talked about them all with those around me.  These eventually led me to other joyous memories for me to share.  Some I had forgotten, some were too funny to ever forget.

Now I'm in my second round of holidays after my loss.  These seem to be harder than the first.  There's been a lot of changes in my life these past 6 months.  A new job, a new puppy, etc.  I think part of the reason the first year seemed easier was because nothing had changed except for Barry not being here.  Now my life is a state of semi-organized chaos.  I'm not surrounded by the friends who stood by my side to pick me up when I collapsed.  I'm trying to create a life from nothing.  I've done it before, I don't know why it's so difficult now?  Learning to stand on your feet again is harder than learning to ride a bike.  My support net is now spread out over several states and I don't really have anyone local anymore.  This is definitely a lesson in self-reliance.  Some days I want to close the bedroom door and stay in bed.  Other days I am filled with so much energy, and no where to direct it.

This holiday season, if you feel you need to create new memories, go for it!  If you feel like you need to continue with the traditions you had with your spouse, go for it!  If you feel like you want to avoid the holidays all together, go for it!  This is your path and only you know what is best for you.

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