SEASONS GREETINGS! Well, it feels so loud these days. It seems as if people are shouting it when in truth their tone is probably no different than it has ever been. This year it just seems loud! Upon the death of a loved one life becomes foreign. It is almost as if you are in a different Country and cannot comprehend what other people are saying.
You move each moment as if you are walking on thin ice.
Will today be the day that you break? Or at the end of the day will you wipe your brow knowing that you maneuvered around that crack for yet another day?
SEASONS GREETINGS. No one speaks your loss. Even if someone else has been through a similar situation you do not want to hear about it. You nod graciously and find yourself consoling them. Words come out of our mouths that say – “I am so sorry – my loss must be bringing up such hard memories for you.” How do we get to that place where we nurture other people and their grief instead of our own?
Maybe it is a survival reflex? Maybe if we don’t “feel” it we do not have to “own” it. But somehow in that moment of loss we have to embody it.
We become the representation of grief to our family, friends and the world around us that sees us.
Still today people say to me – “You remind me of Jackie Onassis, I think it’s the way you hold yourself and everyone around you together.”
I have never been “fake” in my grief I have always moved through my grief honestly and proficiently.
People have commented “you were chosen to go through this, only the strong survive — you are a survivor, there is a reason for this and when you look back someday you will reap the rewards of your loss?”
SEASON GREETINGS!! Really? I will be better for this someday? Because all I want right now is to be planning the Holidays with my beautiful husband who was “mowed down” by a red light runner two weeks prior to the birth of our daughter.
I want my daughter to be able to go shopping with my husband so she doesn’t have to feel yet again that she has gotten me “nothing” for Christmas even though I am telling her that her love, her beautiful hand made cards and her happiness are all that I need to make this a beautiful Christmas.
I want to look forward to New Year’s Eve where I can toast with my husband this life that we are getting through together and this daughter that we are privy to parent.
I want my husband back and I can’t have him back. I want him back for me! That’s what I want for Christmas!
I want him back for my daughter so that she can see the pride on her fathers face and know what love between a dad and his daughter really is.
I want him back for his parents, his brother, his nephews, his family and his friends. I want him back so that my parents do not have to “worry” about me being alone and I want him back so that my brother can feel whole again.
It has been 11 years. I want him back for me so that I can get rid of this gapping hole in my heart that will not seem to heal. That’s what I want for Christmas.
Season Greetings. This holiday season if you know a widow or a widower, someone that has experienced the pain of losing their children or children that have lost their parents, grandparents, brothers or sisters please bless them. Please hug them. Please pray for them. Loss is foreign. It is the “elephant in the room” that will not go away.
It can be a very daunting and lonely time … these holidays. The one gift you could give to all in grief is that hug – no words. We do not want to hear “They are in a better place,” “Wait until you see the rewards for going through all of this,” or worse yet, “There is a reason all of this happened.”
This holiday season honor who we are and who we have had to become in our loss. Be patient, be kind and don’t walk away because it’s easier for you. We are trying to speak your language again; the truth is we are healing but we will never know the same words, thoughts, feelings or friendships. Life just tastes different now.
Most of us want that wonderful feeling again of saying “SEASONS GREETINGS!” with an outward smile, but on the inside we are shouting “SEASONS GREETINGS, GRIEF.” I am most certain that Jackie Onassis felt the same.
If you have experienced loss and know these feelings maybe this is why we are finding each other now.
Don’t be ashamed say it loud and proud: SEASONS GREETINGS, GRIEF!
Acknowledge it; embrace it; and then move through it. We don’t want to get stuck in it, but have permission to divulge it.
A special thanks to Melissa Wandall, founder of the The Mark Wandall Foundation, for sharing this holiday post with us. Learn more about Melissa at www.melissawandall.com.