I wake up everyday with a heavy heart.  It is difficult to feel so sad all the time, especially during the holiday season when it is supposed to be a happy time.  I know the holidays are difficult for so many people for so many reasons. I have been trying to approach this 2nd holiday season without my husband with some optimism and some reality.  The 1st Christmas season was so soon after his death that i made it through in a fog. This year i have had to face the cold reality of the season without him.

Each day i start my day with a prayer for the strength i will need to get through this day and to find something to be happy about.  I also end each day with a prayer of thanks. For getting through another day and also for something that happened that i am thankful for.  There is always something to be thankful for – even if it is something as small as a good cup of tea at the end of a long day.

I also try not to put too much emphasis on the actual holiday.  If we really think about it it is just a couple of days out of the whole year.   Instead of worrying about what exactly happens on those days i am spending time being grateful for all the wonderful people in my life every other day.  It’s not about the gifts or the food – it is about the people we spend everyday with and who are there for us throughout the year. It is about being thankful for all the good things we do have in life because so many people have far less.  

Even though i have been struggling to get through this season and feeling so very sad most days.  I want to take this time to be grateful for all that Pat gave me in our life together but also for all the wonderful people that are in my life now and helping me not only get through this holiday season but also every other day.

I wish all that are reading this a very happy and healthy holiday season and New year.  I am sending good thoughts for strength and resilience through these difficult days and for a little bit of happiness to find its way through the grief.


Eileen Clarke is an average everyday woman whose life was torn apart on November 2, 2017 with the sudden loss of her husband Patrick (Pat).

She is now in the process of taking a journey that she never asked for but must take nonetheless. Her hope that in sharing her journey she may be able to help other woman as she embarks on her own unplanned journey of grief and rebuilding.