Christmas: The loneliest time of the year.

Here we are. It’s my fourth Christmas post-Tom. Fourth!

How the &%$# did we get here?

I’m not one to swear, but that’s kinda what grief does to ya. Turns you into someone you’re not and don’t want to be.

Really, I’ve been doing ok this year. That’s probably in large part because I radically cut down my shopping, and we haven’t gotten our tree yet. But tomorrow, we’ll be decking the halls, and I’m already dreading it.

It’s funny because for most of the year, I am decidedly happy being single. I love Tom, and I wish to the world he were still here. However, now that he’s gone, I’m not in any particular hurry to replace him. Sometimes I think it would be nice to have another adult male in my life, but mostly, it sounds like a lot of work and a hassle.

That is, until we hit something like a birthday or holiday. Then, being single is just plain lonely. And Christmas seems to be the worst. Maybe because it’s the holiday season that lasts the longest…maybe it’s because it’s the holiday with the most memories attached.

Either way, once Christmas rolls around, you become painful aware that it is you against the world. No partner-in-crime by your side. No better half to help you endure the bad days and celebrate the good ones.

And then Christmas piles all sorts of insult onto the injury…

No one to help wrap gifts.

No one to untangle the Christmas lights.

No one to carry the tree.

No one to kiss under the mistletoe.

No one’s hand to hold while driving to Christmas parties and programs.

No one’s ear to whisper in after the kids go to bed.

No one’s smile to catch on Christmas morning.

No one to share hopes and dreams for the New Year.

No one to curl up with on a cold winter’s night.

No one to swap stories of Christmases past.

In the still of the night, when the world is blanketed with snow and Christmas memories lurk around every corner, widows everywhere lay alone in their beds reminiscing about what was…what could have been…what should have been.

With apologies to those who don’t like the word: Yes, being a widow at Christmas really sucks.

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    1. Hi! I subscribe to Money Talk, so I read your article on how to have a New Year’s Eve party on the cheap. Anyways, I saw the spelling of your name. I have a childhood nickname spelled Maraleen. This is the name only my 2 sisters calls me by. My dearest friends don’t even know I have a childhood nickname. I am just wondering if you pronounce your name the same way or is it pronounced the same as Marilyn. I, too am a widow. It will be 4 years since my husband Danny died. We were high school sweethearts married for 39 years. Like you I am doing the best I can to move on in a new direction without Danny. It’s difficult, but I have my family, church family and circle of friends that help ease the loneliness. I will be interested in reading more of your monthly inspirational messages.
      Thank you,

      1. Hi Marilyn,

        Thanks so much for your note, and I am sorry to hear about your husband.

        I pronounce my name Mary-a-lean with a short “a.” My mom pronounces it with a long “a” and since she named me, that’s really probably right! I also get Maraleen, Marylean, MaryEileen and all sorts of variations. Basically, I respond to anything that starts with Mary!

        Thank you again for your message, and I hope 2017 is a great year for you!


        1. Thanks for your response! My sisters pronounce my nickname Mare-ah-leen! I was very curious since I have never met or heard of anyone else with a close pronunciation of my childhood nickname!

          You and your family have a good fruitful and Happy New Year!


    1. When I read a blog like yours, it hits me with the sheer weight of all the widows of the world going through the same things; the loneliness, the tears, the holidays, the forever lost kisses and hugs…. sometimes more than I can bear. This month on Jan 25, I have 9 years without him. Yesterday was a sadness day where I mostly remembered and cried. What else can you do when it comes crashing down? Not much. I have found that all I can do is sit with it – let it come without fighting it. Soon to be 63, I know there is no one to ever please me however nice it would be to have someone to share the rest of my life with. I don’t see it happening. What a most unfair thing to happen.. Initially I read somewhere that it would be “at least 5 years of heavy grieving”. Ha… grieving goes on forever – all we really have are memories of a pure love that death has brought to an end – no argument. I try hard not to make it my story and cling to it. It’s like being a stone, but I can’t even get another pet because I can’t go through loss again.. how sad is that? Initially I tried doing a Blog to help myself and I had a few followers; but I found that it was tying me to my story more than it was helping.
      Anyways, I applaud you and your well written, straight from the heart articles. Will check in ever so often.

      Thank you

      1. Oh Arlene, I am so sorry to hear about your loss!

        I think so many people want to put a time frame on grief, but you’re right: it goes on forever. And it’s so tough because you don’t want to be defined by it and yet, it’s part of who you are. Or at least it is in my case. And I understand what you mean about a blog tying you to your story. While this blog is helping me now, I worry the time will come when it will only serve to keep me focused on the negative rather than open to the positive.

        Hoping that you’ll make it through this month as best as possible and that the new year will be a good one for you.

        All my best wishes!


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