When your child dies, the holidays quickly lose their luster. The entire spectrum of lights is muted to a dull gray, while the endless barrage of seasonal music only brings out the blues. When you combine that with freezing temperatures and the whirlwind of activities, it can lead to treacherous living conditions. Additionally, a string of silent nights bring neither comfort nor joy.
I spend a tremendous amount of time and effort during the holidays trying to block out the past and ignore the present. Why? Because all the great memories reiterate how much I have lost. But without them, what would I have to reflect upon?
It often leaves me feeling so unstable that a single word, note or thought can send me careening down the slippery slope of grief.
Because we no longer have children at home, and have no grandkids to date, we choose not to celebrate at all. Every day is much like the next and the last. In fact, every month is full of wonderfully painful memories. I try to remind myself that it’s not the season nor a date that I deplore; it’s the absence of my son.
So, when I look at the barren trees and ice covered lakes, I try to remember the promise of spring and the rebirth of the forests. Perhaps the bitter cold of winter is just a reminder that death is merely a transition while the nature of life is to flourish eternally.