I LOVE the holidays! I love the warmth and the cheer. I like the brightly decorated tree and the decadent food. It is also a time for friends and family. Which brings us to the bittersweet. In those family times there is intense love and joy and there is pain. We always miss the ones who are gone. The loss haunts us at he holidays. For some more than others. I miss my grandparents, but when death is expected, when illness is long and slow, the grief is healthy and the wound heals. But for some loss –the wound never heals, it aches and festers and becomes a part of your experience. Maybe it would be better if I had faith, if I belived in the after life and a loving God. But I don’t –so there is no comfort for me there.
My brother died 19 years ago. He has now been dead for longer than he was alive. He was not ill, it was not expected and the grief has never dissipated. Perhaps because I grieve not only for what I lost, what he lost, what my family lost, but for what could have been. For what should have been.
My brother took his own life. Ten days before Christmas. I think that is why I can not let go, why I haven’t healed. Why the pain still takes my breathe away when I least expect it. Why I don’t feel comfortable mentioning him to my family even though I know they are thinking about it too. Because it is like a knife wound and I do not want to inflict it upon them if they are having a movement of peace.
The holidays are here. Warm and Fun. Gift shopping, gift giving, cooking, eating, laughing. Loving. Remembering. Bittersweet.