I am tired. More tired than I have ever been in my life. In the weeks since my father's death, I have attempted to drag my family through the holiday minefield. Thanksgiving dinner had the feel of a second funeral with all of us doing our best to give a stiff upper lip at a generic restaurant buffet. Black Friday was packed with an outing to see Christmas decorations, along with a birthday luncheon for Mom, and a Christmas tree lighting. The past few weekends have been a red and green blur, with field trips to Christmas concerts, holiday parties, and more Christmas lights. My young nephews enjoy the spectacle, and we indulge them with cookies and candy and promises of more, more, more. But, if I said that I was doing all of this just for my nephews, and just for my family, I'd be lying. In the midst of grief, I want to dig into life until I'm up to my elbows in it. I want endless days filled with noise because the quiet and the dark are just too much right now.
But, still, I'm tired. So maybe it's time that I let myself grieve. Even now, at this inconvenient time - when it would be easier to swill some eggnog, put on my Christmas sweater and get with the program. Maybe it's OK to sleep a little longer and sit out a few holiday parties. Maybe it's cool to NOT feel like Christmas shopping and maybe I can be forgiven for not having my Christmas cards signed, sealed, and delivered before Christmas Day. Maybe it's alright to be still and to face all of the fear and the pain and the doubt that grief brings to the surface. In grief, life and death come face to face with one another, and while dwelling on this fact can destroy you, denying this fact will exhaust you.