Christmas used to be my favorite holiday. I loved the music, I loved the lights and decorations, and I loved what Christmas represented to me. The holidays were all about family and being with the ones you love. Now, the holidays are still about being with the ones you love… and this is why they are so damn hard.

I miss my husband. I have been asked a few different times what I want for Christmas and the truth is, the only thing I really want for Christmas is something I will never get. I want time back. I want to my husband back. I want my daughter to be able to grow up with her daddy. He’s not here. It has been nearly two years since I lost him. Nearly two years since my life shattered into something unrecognizable. Nearly two years since I lost the other part of myself and the rest of my little family. It has been nearly two years since my husband died… and all I want for Christmas is to go back to the way it was, to the life I had with him. I want to go back to the time when I could look at my future and see all the things I wanted, everything I hoped for, and know that whether or not my life was picture perfect, it was mine and I was happy.

This Christmas, my daughter and I are spending it with my family. We traveled across many states to be here. I am glad that we did, I am grateful to have this family. But as I look around, I see that every member of my family is living a happy life with their own complete families. In the time that I have been here (less than a week), one cousin has graduated from college, another just got engaged, and a third gave birth to her second born son. I am happy for them, I am. But I am not happy. I look around and I see the life I used to have. I see the future that will never be mine. I see a world that I don’t seem to fit in anymore. My broken doesn’t feel like it fits. The life I will never get back was beautiful and happy. It was full of promises and possibilities and love. It was happy. I was happy. But now, here I am.

I have settled into this new life. It has been nearly two years and I am no longer drowning. I am not hopeless. In fact, I am grateful and happy for what I do have, and for the time that I had with my husband. I wouldn’t trade that time for anything in the world. But today, I cried. Today I broke. Watching everyone around me in their happy lives has taken its toll. It is hard to live a broken life. It is hard to pretend like everything is ok, like this season isn’t the hardest thing in the world for me to get through. I have spent this time putting a smile on my face and avoiding sadness like the plague, but it has taken its toll. I’m exhausted and broken, lying in a pile of shattered pieces with no way to put myself back together. But I will put myself back together. I don’t know how. I never know how, but I always do it.

So today I may pick myself back up, or I may keep on crying. I don’t know yet. But Christmas will come and it will be a good day… and a sad day. And I will pull my broken self together and I will be happy. But before and after that day, and most likely during that day as well, I will break. I will cry. I will beg and plead to have him back, for a different life, for the life I used to have. And I will put that smile back on my face and pretend as though everything is normal and happy. And I will fake it until I make it. This is how the widowed life goes, after all.

I know your Christmas is broken, but I wish you all the love that you need to pull you through your brokenness.