I love Christmas! But Christmas brings me heartache. Even now, 29 Christmases later, I can still feel the tugging of grief’s influence on the corners of my heart. Perhaps I am feeling the sadness of years past because I have witnessed many of my friends deal with heartbreaking loss this year. Or it could be the fact that our dear 2 year old Poodle is slowly losing his battle to a wicked case of meningitis. I can’t explain the mysteries of grief or its stubborn hold on my life. But I can look back at my 29 years of experience and see how I have changed. These, of course, are my thoughts and experiences of grief. We are all different and my hope is that each person can find a nugget of peace or hope from my experience.
Twenty-Nine years later I no longer:
- Am paralyzed by the raw, exposed pain.
- Am covered with a blanket of depression.
- Wake up in the middle of the night so nauseated with grief that I throw up for hours.
- Am Sick all of the time.
- Dread every anniversary or holiday.
- Am overcome with grief every time an airplane crashes.
- Miss my family everyday.
- Feel lonely, especially during holidays or special life events.
- Talk to them.
- Am deathly afraid to fly in a small plane.
- Am fearful of dying in an accident.
- “Freak out” during snow storms.
- I understand how precious life is.
- I realize I can survive whatever life has to offer.
- I have true love.
- I have children and grandchildren to love and cherish.
- I have some insight into how pain and tragedy affects others, including my students.
- I have a meaningful purpose in my career as an educator
- I have dear friends and adopted family.
- I feel a deep connection with nature and the spiritual.
- I am still fully alive and love this wonderful magical normal life I live.
If you have recently lost a loved one, please know I am thinking of you during this difficult holiday season. May you find the glimpses of love and hope that will eventually fill your life once again. If you lost your loved one years ago, please know I am thinking of you during this difficult holiday season. May you hold in your hearts the sweet glimpses of Christmases past.
Words by Magical-Normal Life. Image taken by Grandpa.