Friday, December 25, 2015

The bitter and sweet seasons

Christmas day is a day some people sing about, look forward to, dread, and just endure. Everyone seems to have feelings about it - either warm, nostalgic ones or cold, harsh ones.  I've felt both extremes and everything in between.  

Some people try to minimize the spiritual side of the holiday and are militant about de-christianizing it, making it politically correct. Others try to shove 'the reason for the season' down people's throats (news flash: everybody gets it. It's called CHRIST-mas - celebration of Christ. You don't have to prove it to everybody) to the point of plastering social media with messages designed to make people feel guilty if they don't click Like, type "Amen" and click Share.  

So that's enough of the soap-box.  

My thoughts the last couple of days have been on the bitter side of the season, how it is so hard to go through it without the literal life of the party being around to share Christmas with.  This is our third Christmas without our youngest; she passed away just about 2 months prior to Christmas 2013, and the waves of grief and the bitter taste of loneliness are sometimes unbearable.  Yet, strangely they can mingle with the sweetness of good friends with whom we can share festive seasons.  

I know that the best I can do to be healthy inside my own skin is to be real, to not fake joy, and to pour into someone else's life in a meaningful way.

I don't think that holiday seasons (be they Christmas, Thanksgiving, or Easter or whatever else) get any "easier" when there has been a loss.  The feelings I have learned to pack away to deal with everyday life come raging to the fore when special dates or times of year come to pass, and that is only natural... and right.  

I can't apologize for feeling what I feel. (Often, allowing myself permission to have those feelings is the difference between function and dysfunction.... repressing feelings is never good for the soul.) However, I can try to make someone else's day brighter.  And I know that feelings are usually transient. They happen ... and then they pass.  This is a good thing to know.

Hubby reading the Christmas story -
the presents can wait.
This year, we had thought that our plans to have someone else share our Christmas morning celebration were going to be cancelled, and we were dealing with the disappointment of that (knowing that our friend was with her family, where she needed to be). 

We were just sitting down to breakfast when I got a text.  "I'm back home now," it said. "Can I still come over?" What a blessing that was!  within a half hour she was in our living room, listening to the Christmas story and joining in our sharing around the tree.

Later, another friend joined us, and we shared a meal. And pie. 

We all talked well into the evening, and each of us savoured the sweet of the season: the connection we feel with people who know they are loved and who love in return.  And though we each had a real reason to feel that bitterness, we chose to pour in the sweet, and taste the best of the holiday with each other. 

1 comment:

  1. Love you guys. . . you are so amazing. Judy.. . your writing is precious. don't ever stop, k?