Where is the joy in this year’s holiday season? My Christmas tree is sitting on the table waiting for me to decorate it. It has been there for three days. I can’t seem to bring myself to find the joy, the excitement I usually have in decorating the house and tree.
Why? I think grief hangs over many of us right now and shadows our emotions. Grief keeps us from seeing the Light, the beautiful, the joyous. Grief covers all.
I didn’t personally lose anyone from covid, yet I am feeling a small bit of the emotional loss so many are feeling. My sense of their loss is but a drop in the ocean compared to the grief of those whose mother, father, brother, sister, cousin, or friend feel.
As a country we are affected, each in our own way, by the grief that hangs over all of us.
What to do about it? How to find a bit of joy? How to smile, at least inside, while decorating the tree?
First we have to recognize that to some degree we are all grieving this season. Then we make a conscious decision to lift the heavy veil and peek beyond it, let a bit of light and joy in.
Now is the part where I tell you how to do that, how to let the light in. I’m not sure there is a pat answer to that question. I’m not sure there is a “do this and you will feel better” message for everyone. I think we each have to find our own way. I think the advice, the sharing, the many ideas on grief, on living our best life are offerings for us to search through, to try on like shoes in a store. Somewhere in the sampling we can find what holds true for us, find what makes sense in our sorrow, our confusion, our disarray.
My holiday wish for you is to include all those you love, whether alive or gone from you, in this season. Talk in your heart to those not physically present, share yourself with them as you share your physical presence with others. Don’t be afraid to talk about those who have died. "Remember when Dad did---." "Oh, Mom would have loved ---."
And try to not be alone. Reach out to others, be with others. It's been a hard year and a half. Let’s let some Light in.
Hi Lee Ann, this will be a hard Christmas. Include your husband in your thoughts and actions. Don’t be afraid to talk about him with your family and friends. Smile at his “bah humbugness”. My thoughts are with you. Blessings! Barbara
Yes it feels SO important to actually invite the light and the joy in this year.. to focus on opening the door to let it in.. as it doesn’t seem to be there naturally at the moment!
But I think that is just our perception.. and the reality is that much of Life is still good.. but our anxiety and inability to cope with change blinkers our eyes to it.
When I can’t access joy easily I open my heart to the stream of Joy provided by my Heavenly Father and ask Him to provide it. He usually does in some unusual way!
My sister died of Covid last year and 3 friends too. It leaves a pain but oddly that can also be ‘celebrated’ through gaining a different perspective.. the grief is just Love with nowhere to go.
But let’s not waste the love we had for that person just because they are not longer here to give it to… we need to pass it out to others.
BK Books replied:
Beautiful said, Minna. Thank you for sharing. Blessings! Barbara
I lost my older brother close to three years ago, from cancer. Yet, the pain and loss is still fresh. Christmas was his favorite holiday, never losing his childlike wonder. He wasn’t just my brother, he was my mentor and I will grieve his death until my own. Thank you, Barbara for always sharing your wisdom.
Thanks so much. First Christmas without my beloved. I thought I’d be ok because he was such a “Bah, Humbug” kinda guy. But no, not ok. And I’m a hospice RN on leave since just before he passed on July 12.
Your words are comforting – we all need to find our own way. I’m struggling with the loss of my Dad- who I had no idea was such an integral part of who I am – such a loss. Your booklet was given to my Dad and I at the Hospice almost 24 years ago when we lost my Mom at 48-years-old to Cancer . Now your books are helping with the loss of dearest Dad.
BK Books replied:
Hi Jennifer, I am sorry for the loss of your dad and mother. When both of our parents die then thoughts of “Now I am the adult in the room” set in to add to our burden of grief. You might write your dad a letter and put all your thoughts of love, appreciation, anything you would have said but didn’t or want to reaffirm, along with your tears down on paper. Write it all from your heart then burn the letter and scatter the ashes to the wind. As I write this I’m thinking you may want to write your mother a letter also. My blessings are with you. Barbara
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