As anyone who is grieving will tell you, the first year is a series of milestones as each ‘First without’ is ticked off the list.
There is no easy way around these days, so for the major birthdays and anniversaries, I tried to do something life-affirming and slightly different. This tended to veer towards a place I’d always wanted to go too; a restaurant I’d always wanted to visit or something, placing myself in a situation I might otherwise have not found myself in. I found by doing this that small, unexpected pleasures often opened up, sometimes making the day memorable for another reason. I also found this meant I somehow took Gail with me and I could ‘share the occasion’ with her.
Some firsts just blindside you though and Easter was one that shocked me. I thought after and decided that Easter is strongly associated with spring and re-birth and, although it wasn’t something I’d considered much before, it has its own unique atmosphere. I discovered this to my cost as, not having steeled myself for the occasion, Easter became an awful time. Again, like Christmas, some of the problems associated with the season aren’t ones you can really talk about without them sounding trite and pathetic. Nevertheless, the fact I had no-one to surprise me with an egg was a horrible realisation of loss; that token gesture of chocolate becoming a focal point for thought, generosity and lost love.
It also makes you shudder with regret and pine for lost opportunity, because the selection and giving of an egg is normally just another one of the year’s events. You’re grateful and happy for the gift, the fact that someone took the time to select it and give it to you, of course, but what you suddenly realise is – however much you appreciated the gesture – you’ll still on some level had taken that gift for granted, something you just ‘do’ every year. Without it, the yawning chasm it leaves just wipes you out.
I can see the pain etched in my throwaway social media post.
Times You Have Got It Wrong # 354
“Easter isn’t as emotional as Christmas I’ll be ok”