Peace. Joy. Pain.
Grieving through the Holidays.
We have so much to be thankful for, through the twists and turn of life our hearts and home are full. From the outside looking in it’s easy to see just that. The flip side of that is if you do know us well and can see where we are vs. where we came you may wonder why the full heart hasn’t erased the past.
The first part of that is Peace:
Its a struggle sometimes during this amazing wondrous and yes crazy Christmas Season to find Peace in the moment. That may look different to each one of us. Sometimes Peace for me is simply watching my children have a moment of blissfully enjoying each other before it becomes an all out and threatening that they remember that Jesus is the reason for the season, the elf is watching, and Santa has a naughty list. Other days I really need a quiet moment in the morning to sip my coffee in silence, read, journal or listen to something motivational to start my day in a peaceful direction, generally I need to sweat clear my mind and get my heart rate going to really feel I have given myself the best jump start to a clear mind and open heart. Then I can really focus on the peaceful understanding of this life we have been given which leads me to the second part.
Truly with wonderment I have an amazing joy for the Holiday Season. I love the hustle and bustle (mostly until I don’t see above for my coping mechanisms) the joy and excitement on kids of all ages. (especially preschoolers who I have the joy of teaching everyday). The joy of gift giving, hunting down the perfect gift (not from a list of hottest things) but something meaningful to the person you are shopping for that shows you know them and care. Baking with love, favorites for those near and far. Even if you are not quite Boutique Bakery Beautiful, its the thought that counts. Joy for me is in the lights. Sitting by a tree late night in the quite or pulling into the driveway, (or really just our neighborhood because we have awesome lights, not ours but our neighbors! ? just seeing the lights makes me and my children in the backseat smile with joy in the beauty from ear to ear ….”oooh look at the pretty lights Mama..” those quiet moments though can be the proverbial double edge sword…. Joy and…..
It hits me every December when I flip the Calendar over. some years it takes my breath away and some it just gives me pause. The part of the pain that I am thankful for, is the perspective it has given me, because I know I’m not alone, but we do have to move forward in our way, no matter how long or short our time of grief has been. The pain has ripple effects for those that are part of our lives, no matter how little the interaction might be. So this season as you are in the hustle and bustle of the Peace and Joy of the Holiday, navigating through crowds and lines think about the people whose story you become a part of. The women wandering aimlessly through the baby store with no cart or stroller seeming to be in your way, she may just have buried the infant son or daughter she desperately longed for and she wonders if she’ll ever have the family she prayed so hard for… The 60 year old women that just cut you off and you think she’s a bad driver ? She’s on her way from visiting her mother in a nursing home for the first time and wonders if she did the right thing, and the client that lost his mind screaming at you on the phone today? He buried his wife a few years ago and is raising 2 teenage girls on his own and feels like he’s failing.
The loss may not be recent, it could have happened yesterday, last month, last week or 9 years ago. Still someone is missing from that Pinterest perfect picture and sometimes even if just a little clouds the Peace and Joy of the season. If you are placed in the life of someone just for a moment, be the hero smile and wish them well, your words will go a long way to healing, even if just for that day.
Brandee is a lover of java, wine, and working out. Preschool gymnastics teacher extraordinaire. Wife to a fun loving Nerd, Mother of three + one Angel and professional cuddler of tiny dogs.