Think I could pull off wearing noise-canceling headphones while I shop? I'm already über-emotional dealing with Christmas, but it's all the piped-in holiday music that's pushing me over the edge! (Have I mentioned that my mom loved to sing?)
At the symphony last night, I lost it a couple of times, but in the Bass Hall, it was nice and dark, allowing me to have my moment privately, even as I was surrounded by people.
At Garden Ridge (or Target or Walmart), there's nowhere to hide.
Of course, holidays are hard for lots of folks, not just those who have lost loved ones in the past year. Individuals who have gone through divorce or are far away from home really struggle. And even for those grieving, there's no one-year limit to the pain of facing the holidays without that husband, wife, son, daughter, mom, dad, friend, etc.
Even though Mom's rapid decline stunned us, we still knew that she was in terrible health. We had no idea this would be our first Christmas without her, but at least we had some inkling that this could happen. I can't even imagine how much harder it is for those who lose their beloved with no warning. I look at my two friends who abruptly lost their husbands and just marvel at their strength. How much harder holidays (not to mention every other day) must be for them, and yet they face each occasion, each moment with such courage.
Until now, I feel like I've had the luxury to let grief wash over me at the most opportune times. I'll grieve privately in my car, in my darkened classroom, on my couch at home. But thanks to those Christmas carols, I'm afraid that my grief will leak out of my every pore and reveal my hidden anguish. Suddenly, my mourning won't be so private anymore.
So I'm thinking it's either headphones or a great big nametag: "WARNING: Woman prone to sudden emotional breakdowns."
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