Thursday, November 18, 2010
It's the Most Wonderful, or Difficult Time of the Year?
It's that time again. The holidays. That time when we are bombarded by images of happy, intact families. Traditional roles are front and center, with Grandma in the kitchen, Grandpa bouncing a child on his knee, and everyone in every ad has the obligatory attractive spouse and 2 children working blissfully together. In their perfect kitchen. Making perfect cookies. No wonder liquor sales spike this time of year! I suspect it's not all celebratory sales. It's alcohol for drowning our feelings of inadequacy, hopelessness, and that familiar monster, grief.
Anyone dealing with loss understands. When it's difficult to get through an ordinary day, high-pressure events can feel like torture. Even years after the loss of a family member, their absence is never so obvious as during a family holiday gathering. Whether it's the man who no longer carves the turkey, the woman who's not there to bake her famous pies, or anyone else, these days can re-open old wounds.
Here's my holiday wish for all of us who are surviving grief-
May we find comfort in our memories, make peace with our loss, and experience joy without guilt.
(And I wouldn't mind a few of those perfect cookies!)