Note: This post was originally shared on my “widowhood” blog, “Frances 3.0: Still in Beta”.
It’s Halloween. I should be excited and giddy; it’s always been a much-loved holiday of mine. In the weeks leading up to it, I would be busy making costumes for everyone I knew—hoping there’d be enough time to make one for me. Last year, Paul was Sponge Bob Square Pants and I was a vampire. It was our first Halloween in our new home; our first in a neighbourhood where we could expect trick-or-treating. We stayed home to hand out candy to the kids, many of whom shrieked with excitement at a grown man dressed as Sponge Bob—which made Paul grin from ear-to-ear.
I don’t have the energy for it this year—mentally or physically. What I want to do is turn off all the lights and curl up in a dark corner crying and ignoring the holiday all together. I want to take myself out of society for the day and sulk. But I can’t do that because it’s not healthy.
So I am heading up to the city for the day where I will join my Aunt and her friends to go out for dinner and a drink or two. (Well, I won’t be drinking as I’m driving back home after dinner.) I’ve borrowed a wig and a fancy feathered hat and will wear the black dress that I bought for Paul’s funeral. I will be a “lady who lunches” for the evening.
I’m certain that once I get there I will enjoy myself, but there is still a big part of me that just doesn’t want to go. I know that today is the start of the holiday madness and wonder if that’s part of the reason I just don’t want to participate. If Halloween is causing me this much stress, how alone and isolated am I going to feel once the Christmas lights start going up all over town? I suppose that I’ll deal with those emotions as they come.
I know that Paul wants me to be happy and enjoy my life, but it’s hard to do on my own some times. But since it’s Halloween, a time to dress up and pretend to be something you’re not, I’m going to dress up and pretend to be happy. “Fake it ‘till you make it” and maybe by the end of the evening my feigned smiles will become genuine.