My husband died last summer. He had Alzheimer's. I’ve experienced a lot of “firsts” without him: his birthday, my birthday, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and most recently, Valentine’s Day. Some of those days passed without incident. Others…not so much.
It's March. I survived the first holiday season alone. I know there is no end-point to grief. We caregivers learn to carry it. We balance it between sad songs and sweet memories. We treasure the grief. It's proof that we had our own moment of Camelot.
To help me through this year, I’ve chosen three "guidewords," an important ritual I do every January. For 2023, my words are: Emerge, Share, and Contentment. Each one tosses me out of my comfort zone. And each one gives me strength.
In this episode, I talk about those three guidewords and about surviving my first holiday season alone.
I hope you don't need this information. But chances are good you know someone who does. If so, please share this episode. The best thing we caregivers can do is share our stories.