The days that follow Christmas are my least favorite days of the entire year. I find myself somber and serious. And weepy. And any disappointment feels amplified.
Maybe it's because Christmas usually feels anti-clamactic. Like all of the Christmas fun is had before the actual day itself. Then it finally arrives and it's over and life goes back to the non-Christmasy normal and suddenly I'm hating that my house feels so cluttered with ornaments and snowmen and greenery and I just want everything to feel clean and in it's place again. It's like the merrying has to stop cold-turkey and now it's just a regular Tuesday. Not a carriage-riding, cookie-baking, carol-singing Tuesday.
Yesterday, I was kind to myself and let the decorations stay and did things like laundry and toilet scrubbing instead. This Christmas season has been so wonderful and full and I didn't want my typical after-Christmas mood to spoil the beauty that was still left to be had this last week too. The decorations can remain - just one more week.
A cloud settles in over me this time every year. I should stop feeling surprised that it still comes.
Tomorrow marks twelve years that my mom died. And the day after that is eleven years that Aaron died too. Both of their deaths were so long ago, yet so much in my heart feels sad and full of grief. Even with all the time that has past, my heart still remembers them. They are hard days. There still seems to be pain to cry over. I wonder if I will always be like this. Where every late December will be tear-filled and quiet and sad. Maybe it will. And maybe that's okay - I just have to learn how to better care for my heart this time of year.
I know I need people. But it feels easier to be alone. It feels like I'm supposed to isolate and cry my tears by myself. It feels hard to invite anyone in. Maybe because it feels foolish to cry eleven and twelve year old tears.
The year is coming to an end. I find myself more introverted and closed. Reflecting on the year behind me - where it's been glorious and where it's been hard. And wondering what the next year might hold too. Like every year past, I wonder if this will finally be the year that I can break through this damn weight demon and be healthy and normal.
It's late December and I feel winter's chill and what death has taken from me. I am seeing how I've dealt with it and what it has cost me.