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.