(Sad alert – do not read if your Christmas spirit will be in jeopardy – you have been warned!)
I spent so much time and energy wrapping myself up in the Christmas spirit and trying to be upbeat and positive about the upcoming season. But frankly, something was weighing heavy on my mind. And since Christmas is behind us I’m allowing myself to let the sadness in.
Allowing myself. Because I honestly would stop the thoughts from entering my pretty little head as soon as they would surface. I know, for many of you out there, the holiday season is NOT a joyful time. Sometimes this holiday brings bad memories out from hiding. Or you’ve lost loved ones at this time. Or it’s your first, second, tenth – whatever- year without a loved one.
Our family suffered two loses this year. One sudden. One expected. I ache for my side of the family that lost our dear aunt/mother/grandmother. She was ill for a long time. We knew the end was near. But it doesn’t make the loss any easier. And her family. This first Christmas without her. Her children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren miss her so much. She was my great-aunt and I didn’t see her as often as I would have liked. But she was a beautiful role model to me about what a mom should be, how to live life with humor, giggles and joy. She taught me amazing life lessons and I hate it that she’s gone.
The other loss I still struggle with. And he wasn’t even my boyfriend or my child. As some of you may remember, my daughter lost her boyfriend at the start of the school year. Senseless. Sudden. Tragic. Only 17 years old. The funeral was so difficult. Giving my condolences to the parents? Heart wrenching. They were being forced to do what every parent dreads. The unimaginable. Having to bury your own child. Throughout this Christmas season, as I’d shop for my daughter, something would remind me of her loss. Then I’d think of his parent’s loss. I’d start to ache for them, beginning to imagine what it must be like to have to shop for one child when your other child is gone. And I’d stop. Suddenly. And chase those thoughts right out of my head. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t go there. And I haven’t. Until now.
I’m aching right now. For the loss that was easier to handle. For my daughter’s tragic loss of her first love. For those poor parents trying to weather through their first Christmas without their son while putting on a happy face for the son still here. And for all of you who struggle through this time of year without those you love.
Death is difficult for me. Loss of any kind is difficult for me. Loss sucks. And I suppose I could say, “Oh, but if we didn’t experience loss then we wouldn’t know the value of what we have.” Or maybe, “It’s all God’s plan.” But I don’t want to hear that right now. I might someday. But not now. Now I’m just going to be sad.
I candy coated my 2009 holiday season and made it to today. But today, in the afterglow (or is it aftermath?), I’m feeling a little empty. And I don’t have any words of wisdom or upbeat outlooks. I’m all out of them. I used them up in the weeks leading up until now. I’m just sad. Sad for me. Sad for my daughter. Sad for my family. Sad for dear boyfriend’s family. Sad for all of you who are hurting.
I’m so, so sorry for any of you hurting out there. I’m reaching out my arms right now, through the bloggysphere, so we can have a group hug.
That’s a little better.