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Christmas After Loss

Christmas is just around the corner. Every year I try to make as many or more Christmas gifts as I buy for my family and friends. The last two years are the first years in my life that I've actually had ample money to buy gifts for my family, but my family is all about the homemade stuff so that's where I focus most of my time, money and energy.

Every year I make elaborate plans to make gifts for everyone. Every year I tell myself I'm going to start earlier and not procrastinate. Every year I'm making the majority of the gifts the weekend before and the few days leading up to Christmas. Some things never change. I learned in college that I do some of my best work under pressure. That being said, there will come a day that I don't procrastinate and start on my gifts earlier in the year, but that is not this year.

One of my more recent paintings. Sunrises, sunsets and mountains are some of my favorite things to paint.
Mountain Sunrise

Most of my gifts each year involve some kind of painting. I just want to say that I love painting. It is my absolute favorite form of artistic creation. It's relaxing and enjoyable. I like drawing and doing some other crafts (I say some sparingly because honestly, I'm not a "crafter"), but I absolutely, wholeheartedly, genuinely love to paint. When I paint, the rest of the world stands still. It's just me, my brushes, my paints and whatever I happen to be painting on at the time. Painting is one of the few hobbies I have that makes my soul truly happy and at peace with the world.

This year, I find myself procrastinating even harder than normal. I find it harder to pull out my paints and start on my projects, even though I know once I start, I'll be able to wip out a bunch of them at a time. If I know what I'm doing, I can paint certain things in a few minutes. This year, I'm just finding it harder to do just about everything. This year, there's someone missing on my gift list, and that for some reason, makes doing the things I love to do seem less exciting and enjoyable.

As I mentioned in my last post, in August I lost my grandma very unexpectedly. It's been almost four months and I still feel the shock of it all deep in my soul, as do my family and friends. Four months and it feels like just yesterday and a lifetime ago all at once. For the first time in my 30 years, I don't have a grandma to make a gift for. That's a feeling that can't be explained in any other way that gut wrenchingly heartbreaking. Christmas without a grandma feels fundamentally wrong. And I think that's a big part of why it's been even harder to get into the Christmas spirit this year. Even painting, my absolute favorite pastime in this world, can't erase the tiny hole in my heart where my grandma used to be.

My Grammy

The holidays are a time of joy, but for many they're also a time of sorrow and loss. To anyone dealing with any kind of loss this year, you're not alone. The last two years have been so hard for so many people for so many reasons. Covid, political upheaval, death and more, the 20's have been hard for a lot of us. I hope and pray that 2022 brings those of us who have been struggling some good news. I know this has been a more depressing post, but I want anyone dealing with loss or loneliness to know they are not alone. Things have been rough, but we're all going to get through this.

Until next time, peace and love to all. If I don't make a post before, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!

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