The calendar is changing to a new year, new month and new date signifying refreshment, rebirth and rejuvenation. After the loss of a loved one and beginning 2020, the sense of renewal reaches to a deeper level.
Going through the holidays for my mother was definitely tear invoking on several levels. She found herself belonging to a new group, that of a widow. Normally in the role of active caretaker and making sure all decisions revolved around dad, she now came home to an empty house. And then there was the reflection. She had been an exceptional wife, even from a non-biased standpoint, and yet what was bringing her to cry was the fact that they watched tv in different rooms the nights before he passed only because they wanted to each watch something different. However, she saw this as being selfish because she was not in the same room as him. It can be the small things that stir guilt, remembrance or joy.
I was so impressed mom put up a tree and exterior lights for the holiday. At my home, all I did was a wreath. A tree that my brother had cut down for me, I gave to a newly divorced father of three, which was for me Christmas.
Kicking off this new year, my mom has begun joining new groups such as a Scrabble and Gin Rummy group thanks to Nextdoor and former tennis buddies. She will resume her activities volunteering at the library, PEO and Tea Sippers. A new member of the family will join her at home when she chooses a dog from the Humane Society. She and I are also planning an international trip, which we are looking forward to.
We cannot stop change or loss from happening in our lives, and every person deals with it differently. What we can do is continue to put one step in front of the other, walk through the transition as part of the healing process and know that on the other side, there is more of life waiting to be lived, embraced and experienced.