I had a bit of a downer this Easter. It seems with every "holiday" or special occasion that I feel in a funk. Maybe it was prompted by all the t.v. ads showing intact families frolicking around on hillsides covered with blooming spring flowers. Or the ones showing families out on shopping excursions buying their Easter outfits or racing around searching for hidden eggs. Anyway, I experienced those feelings of loss that come upon me during these times. Feeling incomplete and lonely. Feeling that our little family of three is lacking because of the huge hole that exists with our husband/dad no longer here to fill it and make us the family we once were.
These family portrayals on t.v. and in print advertisements depict the ideal or image of what a family unit is. With 50% of marriages ending in divorce there are many other versions of families out there - it would be nice to sometimes see these real families in ads. And part of me is angry for buying into this fantasy. For feeling bad because my family isn't the "ideal," whatever that is anyway. But I guess that is the whole point of advertising. It makes us want that ideal we don't have. But in my case, I could care less about the pretty shoes or clothes - I want the man and life we all once had - when we could have been that cute family holding hands and skipping down the street in our new spring outfits.
I used to go all out for the boys BW (Before Widowhood). They always received huge baskets filled with toys in addition to candy. This year I picked up a token acknowledgment of the day - they each got a package of Reese's Eggs, a crispy rice chocolate bunny and a cookies & cream bunny - grand total of about $3.50!
Again as with Valentine's Day, when I was out and about, all my eyes seemed to pick up on was families with both parents and kids together or couples. Funny how that seems to happen.
I surely did not expect to get hit with this on Easter. This is a celebration that has other meanings both religious and then spring renewal and all. But I guess underneath those major themes is that of getting together and celebrating as family be it with an egg hunt, church service or brunch out.
As with Valentine's Day, I am finding that once the day passed, my mood improved and I felt less pressure surrounding my heart and soul. We survived it for another year at least.
I do wish these days were not so painful. Everyday has its challenges for us. Everyday a sense of loss is present. But on major holidays/celebrations the ghosts that haunt us seem to be more intense. Which is really kind of a slap in the face because to some extent these events exist in our culture to serve as days to lift our spirits and give us breaks from the tedium of our lives.