Preparing For Year's End
It’s December. Like every year (since adulthood) I am more than mildly surprised to realise that I’m facing the end of another year. As a child, I thought December would never come. I have not once thought that as an adult. Usually, by December, I am hoping for an additional 11 months to do all of the tasks I set out to do in January.
Time, it seems, flies.
December means a lot of different things to different people; most people recognise Christmas, if not for the Christian celebrations, then for Santa, or presents, or holidays, or food; some recognise Hanukkah or perhaps other religious holidays; some think of school holidays; some are just happy it is finally summer. For me, December is the beginning of the end of the year; a final 31 days to finish off the things that can be, to find closure for the things that cannot, and to prepare myself for the year to come.
Some years I embrace this, and find myself more than willing to say goodbye to a year full of heartbreak, pain, and difficulty. Five years ago, however, I did not want the year to end.
I was not yet prepared to start a new year without someone I loved so much.
In my mind, Dad had existed in the year 2011. His death had come suddenly early in the year, but whenever I remembered him that year I knew that it was still only a few months since I had seen and held him last. Come that December, it became a harsh reality that I was about to start a new year, one that Dad had never ever seen.
So much of me did not want to enter a year without him.
How then, do you cope and prepare yourself over the next few weeks as we go through December?
I think the most important key is acceptance. Be aware that that does not mean you think of your loved one less, it does not mean that their passing has less significance, it does not mean that you are forgetting them.
It means that you are choosing to live.
Year’s end is a time to say goodbye. This is the case every year. Saying goodbye to lost dreams, to lost opportunities, to pain, to expectations, to disappointments, to heartache. A New Year is so called because it IS a new year. A time for new dreams, new opportunities, new expectations, new hopes. It is the fresh slate awaiting us at the end of every year.
In a year where you have lost a loved one, year’s end is a fresh time to say goodbye. It is a time to remember, it is a time to cry, it is a time to laugh. It is a time to decide once more, that you will go on.
That is, after all, their legacy and their wish for us.
By Danielle Myers