I have been so bloomingly and naively unaware of grief at Christmas. Call me simple or sheltered or disconnected from reality or just pure blessed. For me, even as a child in Romania with not too much to receive at Christmas, the season has always been cheerful and sometimes even magical. I realised early on that Christmas, like any other major festive celebration over the year, is not so much about things or food as it is about people. So I trained myself to recreate a patch of magic on every special occasion, especially since we had Emma, using simple things like a Christmas tree, festive baking and most importantly, spending time together.
But this year the reality has hit me on various occasions: only yesterday, a Facebook friend was sharing the sad news of her dad’s passing. Just this morning I read a very raw article on Parentdish by a lady who finds herself single at Christmas, after the failure of her 10 year marriage. Not to mention the blog entries or Facebook updates I have been landing on this week and the undiluted grief and utter devastation felt by parents who have lost a beloved child this year. The heartbreaking posts on children living in poverty on our very door steps or being affected and damaged by domestic violence. The media coverage of people living in slavery, of women being sexually exploited in this day and age!
For all these people, Christmas will not be a magical, happy time. It will be a raw, too much to bear, want to dig myself in a hole time.
Do I have solutions to their problems and grief? Oh, how I wish to reach out and give them a hug. How I want my words to comfort them and my small acts of kindness to soothe their pain. But it won’t do because what I can offer won’t give them back the most precious thing they yearn for: someone’s presence, someone’s love, someone’s provision…
So I do what I can. I spare a thought for them. A prayer. And a song on my blog.
And I also live with the sense of grace being bestowed on me. For “having it all”: a loving husband who is also an excellent provider(and foot masseur, as proven again last night), a healthy and clued-on child and a much expected and already loved baby on his way. I am also living with the very clear sense of undeserving blessings: I have done nothing to merit to have more than others and grief could touch my life at any point. So I cherish what I have and I hold on to it with awe and gratefulness.
Merry Christmas everyone, may you be blessed beyond your wildest expectations!
Such an important message Oana, thanks for the reminder. It’s crazy how a lot of the times it’s simply circumstances that we are blessed to have what we have. I’m the type of person who counts her blessings every night because of this very fact! Merry Christmas to you too, and I hope you enjoy your holiday with your family.
Yes, Nina, it’s important to always appreciate what we have knowing that there are other people who would give anything to turn back time. Merry Christmas to you and your lovely boys!xx
Wonderful to be blessed, but yes, always aware that others are not so, and this is a lovely post reminding us all again.
This is a beautiful post Oana, a very timely and important reminder xx #PoCoLo
Thank you, Sara, it’s sad to think there is people out there for whom this will not be a “merry” season.xx
It’s heartbreaking thinking of those who suffer at Christmas but as you say it makes one more appreciative and grateful to be blessed with a happy home. I wish you a lovely and merry Christmas.
Merry Christmas, Kriss, may it be full of love and joy!xx