In my determination to ‘not be defined as a widow,’ sometimes I don’t allow myself the space necessary to actually be one.

So resistant to a debilitating title and a wardrobe of mourning forever,

So insistent that my children will celebrate the beauty of the month of December, the holiday season, and the birth of Christ,

So determined to honor well the anniversary of losing Robb,

I push and push and push with new recipes, new traditions, this, that, and the next.

As if I can be my own distraction.  Or at least theirs.

My children are very fragile right now.  They keep me within their sight at all times, and often within their grasp.  The decorations, songs, and festivities evoke fears in them that they cannot name, and a subconscious part of them fears that I will disappear as quickly as their dad did.

So I stay close.  We sit tight. We watch movies and bake cookies.  And every time they ask, together we name the long list of people who will care for them if anything happens to me.  And I pretend that December 23 isn’t waiting for us to endure, while my own subconscious mind is very, very aware.

In my strong-willed determination to ‘not be defined as a widow,’ I may need to allow myself the space necessary to actually be one.

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