I wrote part of this email as I was traveling down the 401 after visiting with my dear friend Ainsley.
Ainsley, as you may recall has Down’s syndrome, and is the sweetest and most loving person I know.
It was sad leaving Ainsley, as this was our visit for Christmas, and we will not be together again until later in 2019. This of course led to many tears as we left each other.
Christmas is a time of great joy, but for many is a time of sadness. Joy is tinged with the sadness of loss of loved ones, of financial struggle, and feeling overwhelmed by the Christmas parties, food, shopping, wrapping and so on.
Allowing rather than Suppressing
As I continue to write, this morning a friend is stopping in for coffee and my hope is to resurrect a bit of hope, express love, and lighten her day.
You see her son died this year of cancer. I can think of no greater loss or deeper pain than this.
What is it that we say? What can we do for those who have experienced great loss in a season that is expected to be one of joy?
Be present. Be authentic. Be silent.
Often, we avoid those who have experienced great loss because we don’t know what to say.
We think words are the solution to our uncomfortable emotions and feelings that arise.
Yet the words of Wynonna Judd ring true, “I will be a witness in the silence when words are not enough.”
I said these words often as I sat beside my dad who was struggling with prostate cancer and at the time of his death.
I’m one who likes to fill the silence with words to ease my own discomfort. Yet I believe we speak volumes of love by just being present.
I have learned from my horses that we are to flow with our emotions rather than suppress them; and the feelings of sadness, tears, and even anger can be a compass to help us identify what we need in any moment.
We can flow with the emotion rather than hold it in, suppress it, and feel uncomfortable.
Tears are a witness to love, to laughter, and to joy as you share stories of remembering.
I will testify to Love
My friends, Christmas is not the presents, the parties, the chaos, and the rush; it is time with family, with friends, and sharing love, hope, joy, and peace, the 4 pillars of the season.
I am not saying don’t buy presents, or go to parties, or avoid all the fun. Chaos at times can be exhilarating and fun!
Yet don’t let us forget those who have experienced loss, those who struggle to see joy in this season in the reflection of broken dreams, those who struggle with emotions of anxiety, depression, and put on a good face to make it through Christmas.
Resurrect hope by making the call for coffee with a friend or family member who is feeling loss, or just feeling blue in this season.
Express love in the silence. Give the gift of laughter, joy, and share memories of what was their greatest moments because they had their loved ones with them, even if ever so fleeting.
Breathe. Just Breathe!
Breathe my friends! I do not want you to lose hope even though this blog helps us to be aware of those who are experiencing a “blue Christmas”. You may be one of those people, and so to you I send a cyber-hug.
Breathe in the joy of the season my friends for this is the true reason for gathering together. Merry Christmas!
Blessings and all the B.E.S.T.,