The impact of grief appears in many different ways. Yet it’s the state of our heart that suffers most. No matter how long we’ve been walking this grief journey, it seems that wounded souls hurt more at Christmas.
When a heart is hurting, even the twinkling lights, pretty colors, and beautiful songs don’t seem to ease the deep ache within. I’ve talked with fellow grievers who freely admit that these things exacerbate and magnify the hurt.
Even though the state of my heart isn’t like the tsunami it has been in years past, there are still moments when it hurts so much. Oh, the missing of my girl. I wish things were different and I could roll back time. If only.
Grief comes in many shapes and sizes. During this time of year, friends will ask, “What are you doing for Christmas? Are you getting together with your family?” During these times, we may learn someone is grieving due to the estrangement of a family member. Perhaps you’ve never thought of this as grief, but some have not spoken with their family members in years. It’s more common than one imagines. The relationship is so broken, and the chasm so wide they can’t find a way back to one another. The heart wounds from fractured family relationships can be as deep and hurtful as physical death.
As holiday songs play on the radio, they may bring back memories of past events. We cannot help but remember happier moments when we were all together.
When the world portrays “all is merry and bright,” we should consider that may not be the case with everyone. We may not know what is going on in someone’s life.
This is a good time of year to apply the golden rule and treat others the way you want to be treated. If your heart is hurting this holiday season, be mindful of those you encounter. Extend love, kindness, and care to those around you, knowing their heart may be breaking like yours.
Someone posted this recently, and I wanted to share it with you. I hope it touches your heart as it did my own.
the wounds in our hearts seem to
ache a little deeper during the holidays
don’t feel like you need to cover your wounded
heart in wrapping paper this Christmas
you don’t have to tie the corners
of your lips with garland to force a smile
you don’t have to keep whistling
“Silent Night” to keep people from
Noticing your bottom lip is trembling
you don’t have to blame an allergy
to nutmeg for why you are walking
around with tears in your eyes
for this Christmas give yourself permission
to feel whatever you need to
last night I was visited by the ghost of
yuletide heartbreak and she told me this:
it’s okay to not be okay on Christmas
it’s okay to be melancholy under the mistletoe
it’s okay to come apart while they are caroling
it’s okay to trace your scars with your fingers
while others are humming ‘Holy Night’
it’s okay to miss the presence of your beloved
amid the sound of opening presents
it’s okay, my love, to hurt during the holidays
don’t stuff your stockings with your suffering
don’t hide your healing during the holidays
give yourself the gift of being
authentic to yourself
it’s okay to not be okay during Christmas
it’s okay to let the broken pieces inside of you
be the only jingle bells you hear
because, my love, because,
it means you are still fighting to stay alive
and I can’t think of anything more to celebrate than that
~ john roedel