There was once a day when the sound of jingle bells brought a joyful giggle to my lips. The hustle and bustle, and holiday music wafting through the air left me singing and wrapping each perfectly chosen present. No single box left without a bow and teeming curls hanging off the edges.

Although I am not without, abundance sometimes accentuates the void, and there is no reasoning or intention to allow the darkness to set in. But alas, it does. Its hard for it not to spell out who I am…when at that moment, it is who I am. I make no apologies for getting knocked down by circumstances beyond my control. It certainly isn’t my fault that I am dropped to my knees out of the blue by the strain of the fight.

I will not hide from you when the darkness sets in to cover me with sadness. As the holidays begin to creep into my thinking, red and green flowing through the shelves of every store, the joy that was once in that place can’t seem to shine through but for brief moments, reminding me of happy times.

That’s not to say that I have given up on happiness. Not by any means. But, I will not make you feel better by putting myself in a dark corner away from prying eyes. If my pain is uncomfortable to you, that is your problem. Because it’s only the weak that are without compassion for those who have lost, who are hurting and who look at the sparkle of a Christmas tree or shimmering lights and only see the gaping hole and the hollow aching left behind.

I try so hard not to be lame and full of excuses, but reality is that sometimes the pain overtakes me; like a flow of lava creeping over me until I’m consumed. But here’s the good news, although you only hang around long enough to see the pain, I get right back up and keep moving forward. I fight every day for joy to be present in my life. It’s neither lame nor an excuse. It is my reality. I don’t expect you to be sorry for me, but I do expect for you not to persecute me for something out of my control.

Understanding should be a gift, not a burden. This holiday season, be kind to those who have lost, don’t run from them because of your discomfort. Give them room to feel whatever it is that they need, for however long they need to feel it. Don’t try to make them forget, help them to remember for its not exactly the pain of their love one being gone, but the sorrow of them being forever forgotten.




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