It’s getting close to the new year. I can feel it in the air. It’s that rush of the holidays, the parties, the gifts, the chestnuts roasting on an open fire, and the twinkling tinsel on the trees. This time last year, I was deeply enjoying the holiday spirit (indeed, I felt more of the “Christmas spirit” than I had ever felt before, which is worth noting only because I don’t celebrate Christmas at all), and dreading the new year. I knew it was going to be rough.
When other friends were going through tough times, I would send them a note that said
It’s a good thought.
2012 delivered on my fears, in the worst ways. My husband died – sometimes I feel like that’s not enough to make a year crappy, when others are still suffering, there’s homelessness and poverty and hunger. But it is enough to sink a year, I promise. I try to keep perspective, but that doesn’t diminish how much this hurts. I live with the sorrow, and on most days it feels more like a bulky sweater than a cilice. No one was wrong in warning me about the holidays – there is something about them that makes us miss our loved ones more, and feel the holes that they left in the fabric of life.
On some days, in my craziest moments, the thought of the Mayan apocalypse (which I don’t believe in anyway) was a mercy – that I wouldn’t miss Crabby Cancer Man for that much longer. But I know it is not true, and after I have the thought, I smile at myself and think “isn’t that crazy?” I cry for a few minutes and move on.
Yet I am looking forward to 2013. I felt the pain of my first year without Crabby Cancer Man in going through the Jewish New Year. Now I am beginning to heal – finding the words to say “thank you” for so many who carried me at the lowest moments. Finding the time for myself. Beginning to make plans for what comes next. I am looking forward to kissing the awfulness of 2012 goodbye. I am not begging it not to go – I am eagerly rushing it out the door. 2012 was not okay, but I am ready to end that chapter.
Crabby Cancer Man only spoke a few times about what should happen after he died. He told me he wanted me to live, to marry again, and have a life. So as I look forward to 2013, I find myself saying “I need to enjoy it for two.”
Happy new year, everyone. May this be a year of sweetness, good health, discovery and joy for each and every one of us.