Not Everyone Comes Home For The Holidays …
It goes without too much explanation how the holidays are just flat out torture when you carry a heavy heart. While I realize any separation from a loved one during the most wonderful time of the year is difficult, our technology is now so advanced that many can bridge that separation with face time etc.
My son recently traveled to Guam on a business trip and our short face time chats did indeed calm my mother’s heart. Particularly when I learned of the tragic air terrorist attack which occurred on Halloween while he was en route from Chicago to Tokyo. As a parent you need to hear their voice and see for yourself that your loved one is ok. As a parent who knows horrible loss, well … suffice to say my comfort level is non-existent.
But what about those of us who have no means of communication with our child, sibling, loved one — not just during the holidays — but every day? Are we supposed to be comforted by the memories they leave behind and that makes it all ok? Do those memories provide us with the same holiday spirit as those blessed with their complete families? What a contradiction the universe throws at us as it constantly reminds us to live in the moment yet be grateful for the memories. After all today is all we have … Count your blessings … Don’t look back but cherish the memories. Blah, blah, blah.
Trust me I know grievers are grateful so assuming because they continue to mourn a loved one and do not have holiday spirit or have the same energy to match yours is not indicative of an ungrateful heart. Instead it speaks volumes of a broken heart.
Depending where you are in this nightmare (I refuse to say journey), memories may hurt. I miss Amy. I ache for my child.
My husband and I decorated Amy’s grave this week. There is nothing that rips my heart to shreds like that task of buying a grave blanket surrounded by families searching for their perfect Christmas tree. It pisses me off when people throw their views of a cemetery at me because I would never ever criticize or speak freely about cremation. Just to be clear, I have no strong opinion either way but even if I did, I would respect their decision without sharing mine. The cemetery is not a place of comfort for me — it holds too much reality — but it is a place of reverence and not up for criticism. We know her spirit does not live there as Amy is everywhere.
So I have my own countdown calendar until Jan. 2. There are no outside holiday lights from Christmas past screaming for attention as you drive by my home yet I compliment my neighbor’s on their efforts. Instead there is a little solar something with a Santa hat still sitting in my yard from last year. I hung an old fake wreath on my front door and stumbled upon a garden flag with poinsettia and Noel written on it. There is a welcome candle in each window all year long.
My husband bought me a small and narrow pull up, pre-lite and pre-decorated tree which sits in a corner of my bedroom. I added a few Amy ornaments which were gifts in memory of Amy and this year I added a recent photo of my husband and two children made into a snapfish ornament as well as one for Amy. Yes, many may feel sorry for my dear children on this side of the veil because I lament for Amy, but my husband and I remain grateful for them each and every day. They have their own individual stories of loss related to their sister’s sudden passing which is not mine to share …
Tonight at 7 p.m. is Compassionate Friend’s Worldwide Candle Lighting. Consider pausing for a moment to light a candle to remember those children who have died.
Not everyone will be coming home for the holidays … too many precious lives gone forever from this side of the veil leaving behind devastated lonely misunderstood families. Not all losses are the same and time does not heal all wounds.
My candles will burn tonight at 7 pm and while I am always remembering Amy, I will be remembering too many other precious young lives and their families.