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!