Christmas Is Not My Happy Place

The holidays are not happy for every person. While people gravitate towards the magic of Christmas and the magic of family coming together, not everyone has the Hallmark family. Christmas was once my favorite holiday and I spent months preparing to embrace my family with the love and hope of the season. With Phil’s death, it is easy to concentrate on what I no longer have versus what I do have. I can sink into a morass of despair and wanting what I cannot fix, repair, or bring back. Airports literally are a sucker punch to my heart. I want the happy reunion and Phil was due home on Christmas Eve. There are days I want to rail against the cards I have been dealt, and yet….there is the spark that shines dimly, but like a blazing beacon.

 

Even in my darkest hours, I recognize that I am grateful for what I do have and for the time I did have with my Phil. Many people never experience the love and relationship that Phil and I shared. I recognize that redefines my paradigms. What if I can be thankful for those 23 years versus morning for what I no longer have? What if I can shift my focus from the dull ache into celebrating because I did have the magical holidays? If I can spark that gratitude, I can spark hope and something to hold on to during the raging storms of the season.

 

Gratitude does more than foster sparks of hope in me, it allows me to look beyond myself and the groans of my aching heart to other people who are walking wounded. I can see the downcast eyes, the withdrawing of the spirit, and I can perhaps be a reaching hand. Viktor Frankl wrote, “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” While my holidays are no longer the chaotic happy family get togethers, they can perhaps light the way for another person. There is something magical in watching hope start to alight in another human being. In that spirit, I will rip a hole in the darkness and step into the light. I give thanks for what was, what is, and what will be.

The holidays are not happy for every person. While people gravitate towards the magic of Christmas and the magic of family coming together, not everyone has the Hallmark family. Christmas was once my favorite holiday and I spent months preparing to embrace my family with the love and hope of the season. With Phil’s death, it is easy to concentrate on what I no longer have versus what I do have. I can sink into a morass of despair and wanting what I cannot fix, repair, or bring back. Airports literally are a sucker punch to my heart. I want the happy reunion and Phil was due home on Christmas Eve. There are days I want to rail against the cards I have been dealt, and yet….there is the spark that shines dimly, but like a blazing beacon.

 

Even in my darkest hours, I recognize that I am grateful for what I do have and for the time I did have with my Phil. Many people never experience the love and relationship that Phil and I shared. I recognize that redefines my paradigms. What if I can be thankful for those 23 years versus morning for what I no longer have? What if I can shift my focus from the dull ache into celebrating because I did have the magical holidays? If I can spark that gratitude, I can spark hope and something to hold on to during the raging storms of the season.

 

Gratitude does more than foster sparks of hope in me, it allows me to look beyond myself and the groans of my aching heart to other people who are walking wounded. I can see the downcast eyes, the withdrawing of the spirit, and I can perhaps be a reaching hand. Viktor Frankl wrote, “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” While my holidays are no longer the chaotic happy family get togethers, they can perhaps light the way for another person. There is something magical in watching hope start to alight in another human being. In that spirit, I will rip a hole in the darkness and step into the light. I give thanks for what was, what is, and what will be.

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