I was catching up on some blog reading just now and became acutely aware of just how…hard…Christmas is for so many. We are surrounded by…or affected ourselves by…loss and, at times, unspeakable grief. Christmas is a reminder that someone we love is no longer with us. And I’m constantly amazed at the number of people marking time at this time of year as the days leading up to and including December 25 are dates engraved on tombstones as death dates. Talk about a double whammy.
There’s a family in the midwest who are grieving the loss of a husband/father on this day, the second year after he died unexpectedly in a car accident. Black ice. Leaving behind a wife and a slew of children–many of whom were adopted. Three of whom were adopted about the same time Ryan was. From the same country.
There’s a woman in San Diego who will bake brownies tomorrow night and spend time outside writing a letter in a journal to her brother who died at the age of 22 from a heart attack. She’ll share a brownie with him and write about the year that is coming to a close. It’s how she marks the time that passes as she moves forward in her grief.
There’s been consistent news coverage in our area since Sunday night about the just-turned-21-year-old woman who was driving drunk and hit and killed a man who was a husband and father of four children. Hell. What do you say to that?
There’s the husband and daughter of a beautiful woman who died of cancer in August who will experience their first Christmas without her. I can’t say for certain, but I would imagine that Vicki did Christmas big. I can’t say for certain how her family will do this Christmas, but I firmly believe they will be surrounded by those who love them and who will share in the memory of Vicki.
And then there are those of us who may not be marking an anniversary, but we certainly have linked Christmas, in a very powerful way, with the one(s) we’ve lost. Most of us still participate in this holiday. We certainly give it our best shot. Some of us still aren’t there. But we all try to move forward, even if it means clutching the scars that remain.