search instagram arrow-down

Recent Posts

Archives

Top Posts & Pages

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 5,641 other followers

likeable-blog-1337-1x.png

Thanks for Freshly Pressing me again!!

Freshly Pressed

Blog Stats

Blogs I Follow

Blog Stats

And again! Thank you to all who follow and support me!!

I’ve reached a stage in life when the holidays are a mixed bag of emotions.  Like so many people, I mourn the loss of  friends and family who will not be with me at this time of year.  The first year is always the hardest; that empty seat at the table, the missing tradition so indelibly tied to the loved one who is not present. I have commiserated with friends who recently lost a parent or partner and are dreading the hole in their holiday. It is to be “gotten through” this year, and somehow balanced against the warmth and joy that we should be feeling.

Like Ebenezer Scrooge, we have to face the past, reconcile it with the present and look for the healing the future will bring. I managed to live for thirty years before true tragedy changed my life on Christmas eve. I have no advice or magic cure to offer those who are struggling with the loss of a loved one this year. The old platitudes of “time will help to heal” are useless when you are living with grief. I only offer:  believe it is a process and a deep lesson in personal awareness.

Life is a series of losses and gains. While there is no guarantee they will equal out; there is the knowledge that balance can be found. Allow yourself the tears, the pain, and alternatively do not let it dull your ability to recognize the moments when just letting go to laugh and sing is what your heart and soul need.

After several dark years, there were many others filled with the joy of children, animals and the wonder of seeing life through a child’s eyes. The purity of untainted belief I saw in my daughters, helped me realize there was comfort to be had.

I balance these desperately intense emotions every time the shortest day arrives. It is one day where I will allow myself to contemplate the loss and the gain I have experienced. There will be empty seats at the table. There will be shiny new high-chairs at the table, filled with happy babies. I can not miss the irony of my friend, Mary Iselin, who buried her dad but welcomed a new grandson.

There will be deep dark nights and impossibly bright days. I trust in the impermanence of life. Onward through the fog…

DSC_6008

8 comments on “The Ghosts of Christmas Past

  1. Touring NH says:

    You can find peace in having learned the lesson that life does go on, that there is still happiness to be had and beauty to be shared. Some people never get past a tragedy, never learn to live again. Like you, I don’t know if the gains and losses ever equal out, but I do know that I won’t waste my time trying to do the math. All that does is keep it all fresh in my mind. This will be the first Christmas without my father-in-law, but we have chosen to celebrate him, not mourn the loss.

    1. Math was never my strong suit! Thanks and Happy Holidays!

  2. alinekaplan says:

    This is particularly relevant this year. On Saturday my sister and i went to a funeral. Our best friend growing up lost her husband after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s. Sometimes that means the passing creates mixed feelings in the bereaved but Pauline and her family were suffering real, raw grief. At this time of year I also think of my Dad who loved Christmas. He bought records of Christmas music, helped decorate the tree, got a kick out of tucking little toys for us among the branches, and loved my mom’s holiday pecan roll and Swedish tea ring. It was his favorite day.

    1. Thanks Aline, what a joy to remember your dad’s love of the holiday. My dad always read “A Christmas Carol” to us and did all the voices for the characters.
      I’m sorry for your friend’s loss. Grief knows no season.

  3. It might be a dusty old platitude, but it is true that time heals. The hurt never goes away completely but it does get easier to bear as the years go by.

  4. Chris F says:

    Holidays are doubly fraught when they coincide with the loss of someone close. As we all get older Christmas is more than ever about memories and traditions. Maybe there is some commonality and comfort in that.

    1. Thank you Chris, there is comfort there.

Love to know what you are thinking! And thank you for commenting.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Putnam, in the studio and beyond

Reflections and ruminations in Education, Beauty, Art and Philosophy

Gringa of the Barrio

A Sassy Barrio Gringa Telling It Like It Is

Badfish & Chips Cafe

Travel photos, memoirs & letters home...from anywhere in the world

The city of adventure

From there to back again (usually on a bike)

Nolsie Notes

My stories, observations, and art.

Shellie Troy Anderson

~ WRITER, REBEL, RACONTEUR ~ AND MOST OF THE TIME A MIDDLE-AGED DESK JOCKEY

Oh, the Places We See . . .

Honey, grab the GPS.

The Task at Hand

A Writer's On-Going Search for Just the Right Words

Breaking New Ground in Zone 6

The adventures of Southern gardeners starting over in New England

Marsha's Bungalow

the WW2 era chicken coop

iwalkalone.co.uk

the world one step at a time

Tootlepedal's Blog

A look at life in the borders

Susan's Musings

Whimsical Stuff from a Writer's Mind

Travels with Choppy

A dog and cat in clothing. Puns. Travel. Bacon. Not necessarily in that order.

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

A Sawyer's Daughter

The Life & Times of a Sawmill Man's Eldest Child

Not Another Tall Blog

Not just another tall blog. Because being tall is NOT all we talk about! Follow me for tall talents, tall fashion, rock interviews and more!

On The Heath

where would-be writer works with words

The adventures of timbertwig in the forest of Burnley and the Rossendale Valley

crafts, permaculture, forest management, self employment, cycling

cheryl62blog

Time to change, live, encourage and reflect.

GARDEN OF EADY

Bring new life to your garden!

The Grey Enigma

Help is not coming. Neither is permisson. - https://twitter.com/Grey_Enigma

Ethereal Nature

The interface of the metaphysical, the physical, and the cultural

UP!::urban po'E.Tree(s)

by po'E.T. and the colors of pi

Kindness Blog

Kindness Images, Videos, True Life Stories, Quotes, Personal Reflections and Meditations.

Crazy Green Thumbs

Chronicling a delusional gardening experience.

New Hampsha' Bees

Raising bees holistically in New Hampshire

Indie Hero

Brian Marggraf, Author of Dream Brother: A Novel, Independent publishing advocate, New York City dweller

Therapeutic Misadventures

Daily musings on life after 60 & recreating oneself

valeriu dg barbu

©valeriu barbu

Writing Out Loud

A Place of Observation

cancer killing recipe

Just another WordPress.com site

Archon's Den

The Rants & Rambles of A Grumpy Old Dude

hoosiersunshine13

Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why. -Kurt Vonnegut

Once upon a time... I began to write

My journey in writing a novel

Not a Day Over 45

A View from Mid-Life

theflexifoodie.wordpress.com/

Delicious plant-based, whole food recipes & my healthy living tips!

Sharon Hewitt Rawlette

Memoirist. Essayist. Philosopher.

Diane Tibert

~ writer - editor - publisher ~

Amintiri din Bucătărie

Memories from the Kitchen

White Shadows

Story of a white pearl that turned to ashes while waiting for a pheonix to be born inside her !

At Home in New Hampshire

Living and Writing in the North East

JOSELYN'S BRAWL

Two rare, life-threatening diseases that led to a bone marrow transplant and a snappy Buttkick List

Stephanie Raffelock

A good story can transform the way that you see the world.