My parent’s reception (1988)


My parents’ anniversary is Christmas Eve and a good friend passed away last year on December 20 so the past couple of Christmases have been rough, to say the least. I remember the first Christmas without my father (2013), I slept most of the day; to be present was simply too much. Last year, I didn’t sleep the day away but I wasn’t quite myself. My mind wanted to be everywhere and nowhere at the same time (or maybe it was my heart). These past few days leading up to Christmas have been familiar. I have fought to be present and even berated myself for not fighting hard enough. Then it hit me: I don’t have to fight. I can be where I am and who I am. If that leaves me sitting and doing nothing, that’s okay. If that means I don’t want to deal with people, that’s okay. If that means having to fake smile my way through the day, until I can be by myself and cry my eyes out, that’s okay. I’m not wallowing in my sorrow (one of my biggest fears), I’m living my reality.

So often during this time of year those who have loss, get caught in this wave of grief. They (we) feel helpless, as though they are drowning. You are not drowning, you are surfing. Yes, surfing in your sea of pain. You are in the barrel of the wave, surrounded by walls of water, guiding your surf board. This is not uncharted territory, you’ve been here before. The water is not something to be afraid of (remember, 60% of your body is water). Even if you wipeout, you will come up for air; you will not drown, just keep going.

Some days are more difficult than others, but every night I lay my head on my pillow, I know I’ve made it through. I’ve surf through the day. And I know, no one wants to just get through life but some days that’s all you have to give and that’s okay. Tomorrow (and today), keep going. Cry, laugh, smile, be silent, be loud. Live your reality, ride the wave until you find yourself back on the shore.

Ecclesiastes 3:4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;