Sounds like a good idea to me. My luck finally ran out with not having any somber occasions near any major holidays.
Then my dad died last Sunday, December 11th. One minute he was here, being visited by a friend and going out to run the slowblower, and then in the blink of an eye (or what seemed like one) he was gone. No time for goodbyes. He fell over and that was it. No pulse, no heartbeat, no response. He was as good as dead before my mother made it down to the end of the driveway, though it was CPR on the sidewalk, fifteen minutes of the same in an ambulance, and a trip to the hospital and a long wait for my mother and I before we knew that.
In a lot of ways my life hasn't really changed. I get up in the morning, I've been going to work during the day this week, I eat lunch, I listen to the Who at night, play my bass, laugh with my friends, snuggle my kitties, read books, and sleep.
Then I go into the office, or the TV room, or the basement, and I see something of his—a belt, a coat, a tool, even a used ashtray—and it all hits me. And while I have been, in a rather mercenary fashion, adding up all the "benefits"—never having him yell at me again, never having to put up with his double standards, his put-downs, his griping, or his interruptions, not having to hide my snacks or justify buying things—I keep thinking of all the things I've lost; long conversations about movies or books, his honest interest in what I had to say about writing or literature, his stories, his jokes, his habit of buying things I really needed or wanted on a whim, his enthusiasm for my education and the pride that he didn't show but certainly had . . . I don't think any amount of freedom from the minor gripes and problems I had with him could ever fill the void he's left behind.
In many ways I am incredibly, extremely angry. I didn't get to say goodbye, and I sure as hell had no time to prepare. You're not supposed to lose someone like that. You're supposed to be able to tell them the most important things. It's not right and it's not fair.
And naturally, all this has completely soured the Christmas season for me. The songs ring empty and hollow now, like the hole in the middle of my chest.