Over the last week, I have the experienced the blessing of speaking with two individuals I dearly love about Christmas and also about loss.
I know they are not the only ones who find it difficult to enjoy Christmas due to the weight that is surely heartache. And while both of these beautiful souls have suffered loss I have not, in other ways I cannot speak clearly of, I lost the same as they, for loss is something we all know. Unfortunately (or fortunately), grief is not a one size fits all thing. It is unique to each of us and the loss is unique to each of us. How we carry it and how it carries us is only ever ours.
For all I know about loss and grief, I know much more about love. I know that love never leaves us, never empties us, and never disappoints us. I’m sure you’re already thinking I don’t know much. But I stick to my belief. Love doesn’t disappoint or leave us, but that doesn’t mean that people don’t/won’t. Love doesn’t fail; people fail. And sometimes in the midst of our grieving or mourning a loss or rejection, we push the thought of love away because to linger with it is too painful, too much of a reminder of our own failures.
But eventually, it is that very love and those very thoughts that heal us, that strengthen us. We may abandon love, but it never abandons us. That which is true doesn’t somehow become less true because we deny it.
I work with a company that handles health insurance and benefits. More than once, I’ve heard from a member who is distraught because data was stored and visible on an ‘ex’. Each time (every time), I laugh to myself at the thought that any of us could ever totally remove someone from the place they held in our hearts, memories, life. It is impossible, as well it should be. I’ve often shared this quote – “The problem with having everything you ever wanted is having everything you once wanted.”
If I ever loved you, I love you still. If I can un-love, then surely I never did.
Love remains whether we want it to or not. It becomes a part of us, changing the ways we navigate life and future relationships. It may evolve or change, but if we allow it to, it becomes the best of who we are and what we know to be true when everything else fails. It becomes the fragile vase we could never put back on the shelf.
So, while Christmas may prove hard for some, take comfort in knowing that another day will come when the memories that torture us will bring us unimaginable joy. We will laugh again! We absolutely will!
This season – this gift – is a time for remembering (even when it hurts) and holding on to that which makes life worth living. We cannot lose it, and it can never lose us.
Let us love and love some more!
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