The pain won’t go away.
The two statements seem practically unrelated, but for some, this is their reality.
Pain at Christmas.
For them, this is the worst time of the year.
Lots and lots of festivities characterize this season.
Loud cheery music, smiling faces, people bustling about to get last-minute presents and food items, family outings and all round fun time with family, friends and loved ones.
Everywhere you look there are happy faces.
Not for everyone though.
Three days ago, My dad sent a message of the passing of someone who was like a grandfather to us all. He was over 80 years. You would say, he was lucky to have lived that long, but nobody is ever prepared for the passing of a loved one, no matter the age.
I couldn’t help but think of his wife, how she would feel this Christmas without her husband of over 50 years.
For her, this Christmas will always be different.
Because we believe we would see him again, we do not grieve as though he’s lost, but it still doesn’t lessen the sense of loss we feel.
There are others who will face this Christmas alone as a result of a love that has gone sour and divorce has left its mark on the family. Christmas would never feel the same again.
Others would spend Christmas in the hospital bed either as a patient or nursing a loved one, or even behind bars.
For others, it’s the death of a dream or the fact that they no longer have a job.
They wonder how they will ever survive?
For these people, the bells are not jingling and Santa can’t find his way to their homes.
It’s a cold, dreary Christmas.
They see happy people around and wish they could be happy.
But the truth of their situation keeps them awake at night and their pillows wet with tears.
Is all hope lost, you ask?
If for any reason you feel there is no reason to celebrate this Christmas, then this post is for you.
It’s okay to grieve.
You do not have to maintain a facade of smiles when you don’t feel like it. Cry if you feel like.
Ask for help.
Some people would gladly lend a helping hand if only you would ask. There are people who genuinely care. Don’t push them away.
Don’t say you are fine, when you really are far from it. If you need help with chores, ask. If you need someone to watch the kids while you take a quiet walk, ask. You are not alone.
Most kindhearted people find it difficult to ask for help. Give yourself a breather and accept help.
Realize that it will get better.
You won’t always feel this way. With the right support system (God, family and friends), you will go through this phase. When you decide to lean on God, He has a way of giving comfort where all others fail. Check here for further reading on how to cope with grief.
For those of us who have every reason to celebrate, let’s do so thoughtfully. Let’s appreciate each day for the gift that it is.
And also extend a hand of fellowship to the next person.
Let the spirit of Christmas spur us to acts of kindness.
Your bright smile can lift the spirits of someone, or how you play a comforting tune, or take time to listen to others. A warm hug can go a long way. Gifts can be inexpensive, but thoughtful. Make someone else smile this season, someone who can’t possibly repay you.
Bankole Williams in his tweet yesterday mentioned things like buying balloons for children in the neighborhood. Funny, right? But it can go a long way to light up a child’s face.
Let’s not wait till we can buy a truck load of food and gifts for an orphanage before we decide to make a difference.
Be the Christmas they feel. I know I didn’t cover them all, so what are your suggestions for spreading the spirit of Christmas?