Christmas in retrospect

Despite all the preparations, excitement, and frivolities, I just couldn’t get into Christmas this year. And if you read the last post, you might be surprised by that, given my proclamations of love for the season.

This year, though, I have felt rather melancholy and unable to really enter into the joy of it all. The people who are not here to celebrate it have been heavy on my heart. And the unexpected recent passing of one dear, gentle man has really given me pause.

I tried giving myself the ‘talk’ about making the most of it for the very same reasons I was feeling sad – you never know how long you or your loved ones have. But even my own pep talk didn’t help.

I tried just ignoring my feelings and surrounding myself with lights, Christmas music and busyness. That didn’t work either. As soon as I was unoccupied, the bustling ceased for the day, I would lie awake at night remembering people. Aching with the pain their families are going through and wake up after fitful sleeps more exhausted than before.

I tried reasoning with myself, to get it all in perspective. That didn’t work. It only served to leave me feeling guilty about trying to have a good Christmas when others were in so much heartache.

There was just no way out of it. I was feeling down. It was quite unusual for me….I can normally talk myself around anything. Not this time. And, to be honest, I was a bit flummoxed.

And then realisation struck.

Go with it. Allow yourself to grieve. I needed to allow myself to feel the pain of the families of those no longer here. Let the feelings come, let them consume me. Deal with it. Don’t push it aside.

I have often said there can be no highs in life without the lows. It was time for me to take my own advice and accept the lows. Not accept death, I’m not ready for that yet. I still rail against the ‘death is part of life’ wisdom and stubbornly maintain that it is simply not right, whilst somehow still knowing fully that there can be no other way and that it is, indeed, part of life.

More, I needed to accept how I felt. Acknowledge it, embrace it even, and be present with the pain. Only then could I let it go and feel the benefit of its release.

I’m not sure I’ve done that yet. I have made a start but I think I have a little way to go yet. And that’s okay. I’m learning. Learning to ride the ebb and flow of feelings and roll with the waves.

Even if I did feel a little disconnected, it was still a wonderful Christmas, full of magic, laughter and family, for whom I am so, so thankful.

4 thoughts on “Christmas in retrospect

    • When I look around my big family, I am staggered when I realise that just one person missing would make all the difference to Christmas not being the same. It’s important to remember their legacy and keep their memory alive in our actions.

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  1. A dear friend of ours passed away in the fall of ’09, and I spent that Christmas just as you did this year. One of my favorite Christmas song’s is Sarah McLachlan’s Wintersong, a song about love and grief during the season while everyone else is celebrating. It still makes me well up every time.

    Here’s to moving forward. Not to forgetting or accepting, but to carrying on as your missing loved one would wish for you. Happy New Year, my friend.

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    • Thank you for your thoughtful words, Vaughn. I will go and look that song up. And yes, here’s to moving forward. I hope the new year brings all you are hoping and planning for 🙂

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