Christmas, New Year, and the time leading up to them are always loaded with an expectation that it needs to be a merry, jolly time. It’s all about family and being with your loved ones. We know that for many people the so-called festive season isn’t all happy families as in a John Lewis advert. But what if this year there’s a huge, spouse-shaped gap in the scenario?
After some of the happiest Christmases ever, the last two were the most dreaded for me. After David died, living in the moment and only thinking and planning short-term became an essential survival technique for me. I quite successfully ignored the hints that popped up all around me and pretended Christmas just wasn’t going to happen this year.
When it had the cheek to happen after all – I survived it. And actually not too badly. I had decided to turn down all invitations and just sit in our flat, among our things, with my cat, and feel miserable. As it happened I wasn’t alone all day on the “main days” (Xmas, my birthday and Hogmanay) in the end as I did socialise a tiny bit. But I still had plenty time in what I call my”bubble”. To allow and observe any emotions that come along, to really lean into the pain, to feel his absence in all its bigness. And that actually felt nice in a strange way…I felt closely connected to him…I felt he and our love deserved these intense grieving times….and it’s much less exhausting than trying to avoid the pain.
One thing that helped me prepare for facing Xmas holidays without David was a retreat my sister-in-love (David’s sister) booked for herself and me, just before Christmas. It was on that retreat where I also met my co-host Alison. This break before the break provided a compassionate and inspiring environment, in a beautiful natural setting…. just what I needed. It didn’t matter that I occasionally had tears running down my face, that was ok. There were talks, meditations, quiet time… It was a Buddhist retreat though, so no wine, sweets or little luxuries were allowed. For me they are part of enjoyment and self-care, and I did miss them.
So, if you have the time to take a break before the official Xmas break, the Winter Glow Soul Spa offers you a warm and understanding environment in a fabulous setting to spend it in – including delicious food and drink. The beach and mountains are just as beautiful, if not more, in the winter light as in the Summer. You can sit by the fire and read, or just look out at the sea….you can do your own thing and still be in company whenever you like. Find more info here.