Christmas is one of the most testing times for all of us grieving the death of a loved one. That sometimes makes us do things which seem irrational and counterproductive. I did something similar this time last year. Before I tell you about the worst thing I did whilst grieving at Christmas though, I’d like to quickly sum up my experiences so far.
On my first Christmas, I was still very much bereaved and grieving. Nothing felt right and everything was too much of a struggle for me. I was very upset about my loss and I felt like everyone was on a mission to ruin my life and make me feel more miserable than I already was.
On the second Christmas, I was just beginning to come out of my shell. I was genuinely happy with my life at the time and everything was as perfect as it could be. I went to a Christmas party and out with friends. It was great and it felt right. Definitely a big improvement and a massive achievement for me.
This year, I am spending Christmas alone. It’s completely my choice and I look forward to doing nothing and meeting nobody for a couple of days. In a way, it is a bit like my first Christmas since the death of my partner but this time, I am content and comfortable with my own company.
I still don’t understand why people feel upset when I tell them that I am going to spend Christmas on my own though. It’s a conversation stopper and I feel like making up a story about doing something different for Christmas just to avoid that awkwardness.
Regardless of that, I see it as a chance to look back and appreciate the true length, both metaphorical and actual, of my grief journey. That’s how the topic of this article came to light.
So, what’s the worst thing I did whilst grieving at Christmas?
It was this time last year. I was very happy with my life and my social life in particular. I was going out, making new friends and spending time with old ones. That made me feel good and I felt like going on a date. I was excited and looked forward to meeting someone new.
It took a while to find a date but I did and we arranged to meet at a local cafe. We had a great time chatting and laughing for almost three hours. We made arrangements to see each other again and things were looking up. I couldn’t help myself but see this as the beginning of something special.
BUT it was almost too good to be true…. and it was! My date didn’t contact me, even though I waited for a few days! When I eventually made contact it was very obvious that there was no reciprocal desire to meet again. Needless to say that I was very disappointed and back to square one – as lonely as I felt the first Christmas since the death of my partner.
It was a lesson in modern day dating though and it made me realise that I don’t need anyone else to be happy. In fact, the chances of me being happy with someone else were quite slim. Why? because when you are with someone else you have to consider them and make compromises.
That’s how it works and that’s fine BUT: I am settled and happy living life on my own. It took me a long time to get to this stage and that’s why I want to enjoy it for as long as I can.
The point in telling you all this is that, regardless of how far on your grieving journey you are, it’s not a good idea to resort to dating in order to make yourself feel better. It’s too big a risk and there is a chance that you might get hurt and take a step back on your grieving progress.
If you have a positive story about dating at Christmas, please feel free to share it with me and the other readers in the comments below.
I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you a very Merry Christmas!
PS: If you are spending Christmas on your own, come and say Hi on Facebook and/or the other social media channels.