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When Christmas Hurts

A huge hurt builds inside me.  My father died on Christmas Day 1986.   It is a familiar, old hurt.  This year it is freshly layered with new hurts and loss.  Five months ago the my last living brother died.  He was the eldest  of my siblings.  13 months ago my brother who was closest to me in age died.  Two other brothers have passed on, one in 1998,  and another in 2005.  Mom died in 2007.
remembering christmas past
I have a husband, and a wonderful daughter who I will see shortly after the New Year when she and her finance return from the great white north to the Old Pueblo to plan a wedding that will happen the day after next Christmas. I have an amazing and talented step-daughter.  We spent a fantastic Thanksgiving with her and her husband and their twin five year olds  a few weeks ago in the Hudson Valley.
The last two brothers to pass both had dementia so I hadn’t really been able to converse with them for a while.  I am not yet 60.  My mother lived to be 92.  I could live for a long time as the only one who remembers my childhood family holidays.  Childhood memories of fall and winter get togethers become cloudy  through time.  There is no one left to shine sunlight through the clouds on old stories, desserts, family jokes, no one to laugh with about family eccentricities.  I can tell the stories to my children and grandchild, and I do, but there is now no one who shares those memories with me.
I know I’m not the only one.
Holidays can be very, very tough.  Be kind.  Ask people how they are doing.  Smile. Give hugs.  Take it easy, don’t do more than you want to or can can do.  Allow yourself a good cry, don’t cut it short.  Then dust yourself off and do something to make someone else happy.  Find an activity that brings you cheer.  Allow the cheer of others to creep into you.  We can learn to have a sadness and to be happy at the same time. Life is bittersweet for those blessed with long lives.
Merry Christmas, or happy whatever you may celebrate!

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    1. They are hard for many. Our society does not give us much room for expressing non-sanctioned emotions and thoughts. I try to change that.

  1. I know exactly how you feel. I lost my dad around the holidays as well. Love this post. It’s speaks to the core of this topic. Happy Holidays and have a blessed New Year!

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