For others, it stretches into January as they practice the twelve days of the season.
Was Christmas a day on the calendar through which you are relieved you survived? Did you listen to other people laugh when you remained silent? Did you feel like other’s jokes didn’t include you? Did you check your watch more than once, hoping you could turn out the lights and go home?
Maybe! But the pleasant flavour in this Christmas soup is that you can put on the lid and let it cool. Give yourself credit. You endured it. Perhaps you learned some new survival techniques. Did something work for you that had failed over the last few months? Is it possible that you look forward to the new year with a renewed sense of belonging, identity, or new answers to old questions? Did you learn something about yourself that you didn’t know before this time? And now you’re ready to put feet to this new truth.
In this short grief reflection, I asked a half dozen questions. You might think that grieve and grow should give you some leads to a more fruitful year ahead. But here I asked questions? Why? Because you are the expert, not me (well sometimes, grief wraps unwanted arms around me too). It is then that I also begin to search for answers. Occasionally, they are right in front of me, and other times I have to go looking.
And now it’s the end of the year.
Maybe it’s been the kind of year that you never want to repeat. Perhaps this year held enough sorrow for a lifetime.
But you, brave one, have put on your runners, did up your laces, and set your eye on the tomorrows of your life. You’ve gathered up some goals for 2020 and said a prayer that with God’s help and/or family or friends, you look at the horizon for a new day to break – and it will, tomorrow.