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Part of my Christmas rituals each year include picking out just the right box of Christmas cards to send to friends and family. I have to be touched by the picture on them and the greeting inside. Nothing has touched me this year; they're all so happy and joyful, as they should be, but I'm  not feeling happy and joyful. In fact, even "Seasons' Greetings" sounds too cheery, so a few weeks ago I decided I would not send cards this year. But, I did decide to purchase individual cards for David's daughters as he always did. I went looking for just the right ones and of course I saw cards for "Someone special" and "Love" and "Romantic". There were tears in my eyes as I quickly turned away from those knowing that there was no need for me to be in that section this year.

It's so sad. I loved buying cards for him and would go from store to store looking for the perfect ones that said what I wanted to say for any occasion or "just because". I was feeling so sad about it that later than night the thought popped into my head, "Why not go out and buy a card for him as if he's still here? If it would make you feel better, why not?" So ya, why not? What harm would it do? I think it would make me feel good. I don't have to feel sad in the stores seeing cards about love. If there's one there that says what I feel in my heart about David, about us, then I can buy it. I still love him. Just because he's gone, it doesn't mean everything has to stop. If buying a card every now and then brings me some comfort when the pain of having to avoid such cards hurts too much, why not go for comfort? I really don't think there's any harm in it. I know he's gone. That's very clear, but he's still in my heart.

There are no rules about grieving. We each have to do what feels right for us. I don't want to deny my feelings or push them down and ignore them. I've done that in grieving situations in the past and it was not a good idea. When David died I knew I wanted to do it my way and I am so glad I have. I'm in a much better place because of it.

So, buying a Christmas card is a little thing, but I think an important part of the process for me. I know the card I bought last year was perfect. I will go in search of the perfect one this year. It may bring tears to my eyes -- in the store and at home -- but they're tears of love. Christmas is still about love, even if my Love is gone.

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Comment by missmyhunny on December 6, 2013 at 5:34am

I think it's a lovely idea for you to do that if it helps you. I have bought cards for my deceased loved ones and it's fine. I try to buy an Angel Calendar every year at Xmas for the New Year to wrap and place under the Xmas tree in loving memory of my son and daughter. Also to buy a gift at the store for an underpriveledged child for Xmas is another lovely way to honor our loved ones. There are lots of special things we can do for ourselves in that regard to make Xmas meaningful in some way that brings us comfort.

Comment by missincin (Dan) on December 4, 2013 at 5:13pm

I think you should buy the card. If it brings you just alittle peace or that feeling of love you'd be foolish not to.

Comment by Rosemary on December 4, 2013 at 5:00pm

What a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

Comment by Patience on December 4, 2013 at 4:27pm

Thanks for posting... I think i might just pick out a card for my husband. Also, I think I will also pick one out that says what he would have said to me.  :)

Comment by Rosemary on December 4, 2013 at 10:54am

Thank you and yes, if you think it will help others, please do share it. Hugs to you!

Comment by Morgana (Janet) on December 4, 2013 at 8:41am

What a wonderful idea Rosemary.  You hit the nail on the head with this.  I would like to share this on Facebook as so many widowed people have a hard time dealing with the holidays, especially at Christmas.  Sending hugs. 

Comment by Rosemary on December 4, 2013 at 8:04am

Thank you Roses. Nice to know someone else feels the same way. Did you actually feel or hear you husband tell you to go into a shop? I have seen and experienced many things over the past 8 1/2 months that I always took as signs that David was still with me. But...I've found the past month or so hard and I've experienced a lot of doubt. I just feel so alone now and I've been wondering if my belief in an afterlife and David's presence with me have been coping mechanisms....seeing what I wanted to see, reading into things what I wanted to....lying to myself to somehow make this unacceptable situation more acceptable. There was comfort in believing David was still by my side, even if he's in another dimension or realm. Now I'm just feeling the cold of nothingness.

Comment by my roses on December 4, 2013 at 5:52am

My roses  4th December

Rosemary  I agree with you.  If buying some small thing for them, or hearing them say they want you to buy/do something it is usually the right thing.  My husband asked me to go into a shop about 5 mths ago - and  a special song began to play as I stepped in.  He wanted to buy me a gift (as he had passed away just before my birthday).   I  did not know what to do, as I  had not intended to go into this shop.  But  I found an ankle bracelet which was beautiful and I said to him, its rather costly.  I  said this to the shop assistant and she said I will take  20% off.  So I bought it from his money.  Recently, I felt I needed to have something of Wes with me all the time.  I did carry a photo on occasions but  was concerned that it could get damaged.  About 2 weeks ago I decided to get 2 bags and have a special  photograph of us put on a large bag and another happy one on a smaller handbag.Then I bought a porcelain mug and had one of our wedding photos put on it.  It is one of Wes looking so lovingly at me, so I can see his beautiful face every time I use the cup.  Whatever works, whatever gives you joy is worth doing.  I have also discovered that  I could have a photograph engraved onto a key ring or onto a necklet - both of these would have an oval or circular piece of silver metal attached with the picture on it.  Re Christmas and my love is gone.... I felt this deeply today while looking for a few gifts for other friends.  Knowing I would not have any gifts from him and  could not give him one either.  I heard his voice say - the gift of your love is enough.  Still  - wandering around the shops full of 'HAPPY' shoppers on one's own is  a  depressing walk.

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