Wednesday, December 03, 2008

It changes

I finished writing my Christmas cards today, but they've gone out without the tiny angel stickers included in the signature - something I vowed to do that first lonely Christmas without Thomas in 2005, and something I did in 2006 and 2007 too.

For some reason this year, it didn't feel necessary. And I'm not entirely sure whether to be happy or sad about that.

Over the last year I've found that I need those kind of visible remembrances less and less. It always startles me a bit when I find that I'm content to keep him in my heart instead of on my sleeve, but I don't have the energy to dissect the reason why. It is what it is, and it feels right.

Sometimes I dig too deep to figure out the motivations for the way I think and feel, when sometimes it's best just to think and feel and move on without question.

I don't need the angel stickers this year. End of story. I love Thomas every bit as much as I did last year when I used them - maybe even more. I just don't happen to need the stickers anymore. It's as simple as that.

I think I'm just whittling down the rituals - condensing them, maybe.

Maybe it's all part of the slow acceptance process. At first you need outward signs of grief and remembrance - you need to actually see tangible things that might help you explain the agonizing pain you're in. But eventually, as time passes and the sorrow becomes more a part of who you are rather than something foreign you're constantly fighting to make sense of, you're content to be quieter about your ways of remembering and grieving.

But whatever the reason, I'm at peace with what I'm doing. And how I'm doing it.

I have ways I remember and honour him that I'm pretty sure I'll never change. The special candle at family dinners, the new ornament for his cemetery wreath each year, and the request for good deeds to be done in his name on his birthday. I can't see those ever changing. They are too much a part of my relationship with Thomas to change.

But other things have quietly slipped away, just like he did.

And it's okay. Somehow, it's okay.


B said...

Maybe understanding why we do or do not do things isn't as important as we might think. It certainly doesn't give us more control of the future, even if it helps us make some sense of the past.

Blessings to you this Christmas with the memory of Thomas tucked sweetly in your heart.

loribeth said...

I too have some traditions that have slipped away. Others are solid as a rock. It's all OK!

Catherine said...

My cards are sitting here in stacks...signed "Cathy & Steve, Sam & Myles"...and I haven't been able to mail them because I've been agonizing over whether to include some remembrance of Alex and Travis. I don't NEED to...I'm not even sure I WANT to. Quite frankly, I really hate Christmas cards these days.

Scrappy_Lady said...

Kristin, I think that's ok. Afterall, we'll all remember Thomas with or without the sticker. He's had such an impact on so many of us.

Lori said...

I'm so glad you know it is okay. Because, of course, it is. Some things just stop making sense, and we should only do those things that actually feel meaningful.

I'm just so darn impressed you have your Christmas cards done!!

Bronwyn said...

I agree with Lori -- wow on being so organized! Traditions are there when me need them and it doesn't mean that they can't change. I haven't sent out cards since Lydia died... maybe this is the year to start a resurrect the tradition.