A Wandering Widow Post
If you thought Thanksgiving was hard on the grieving, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. The MacDaddy of the holidays is here, and you can’t escape. It’s everywhere. Piped in Christmas music, ugly Christmas sweaters (and they are ALL ugly), parties, vacation plans, and decorations for days; it’s a full-scale assault on those who’ve suffered indescribable loss.
Last year, I survived the six-week holiday period by hiding out and pretending I wasn’t going to have to endure my first Christmas without Dan. If I didn’t acknowledge it existed, I didn’t have to deal with it. Or something to that effect. I cried into my bourbon, didn’t leave my couch, refused to decorate, and got up close and personal with every vampire, zombie and alien movie I could stream. Thanks to delivery service I didn’t even have to leave my house to get food. It was the Anti-Christmas of 2016. And I survived, just barely. Hey, we all cope in our own ways. No judging.
The Grief Recovery Project: Christmas Challenge
When I was in Cork back in October, I snapped a photo of a store window that promised me I’d find my fairy tale Christmas. Not sure why I did that, but it became something for me to hold onto as I approach my second Christmas without Dan and my first by myself in yet another new country. And while I’m not holding my breath for the fairy tale, I am determined to find that Christmas magic again. And the Belfast Christmas Market has been a great jump-start to this latest Grief Recovery Project.
You won’t catch me in a Christmas jumper (or what we call sweaters in the states), but I manage to visit the market almost every day (thanks for the suggestion Damian). It’s hard not to feel warm and happy when you see the joy on a little kid’s face while waiting for Santa. And you can’t help but feel ooh la la pretty when you’re inhaling French lavender or sampling French perfume. It’s also hard not to smile when you’re indulging in some of the most incredible food available. Italian cannolis, French crepes, gourmet burgers, paella, fresh coconut macaroons, mulled wine; I could go on, but you get the idea. Hey, a girl’s gotta eat and I can’t think of a better place than the Christmas Market!
So while I have no Christmas tree this year, no stocking to hang, and no family to celebrate with, I’m working hard to get my Mrs. Claus mojo back, one cannoli at a time. I can safely say Christmas 2017 will be zombie free. And who knows, maybe that fairy tale will find me after all.
The Wandering Widow
Live Now. Dream Big. Love Fierce.
Click here for all of my photos from the Belfast Christmas Market.