Once again, we are in the midst of the holiday season – a joyous time for some, challenging for others and a mix bag for most.
For me, it is a mixed bag. After losing my sister in August, it already feels empty, especially since she was also my best friend. A huge hole and cloud of sadness blankets what would normally be a happy occasion and season for me. And, I usually love the spirit, the lights and cheer, which surrounds the holiday season. This year, though, the traditional experience isn’t in the cards. I’m also a single dad, who splits holidays and now faces his first Christmas without his sister; it just doesn’t feel the same. The excitement, anticipation, cooking, conversations and celebratory time of years past is not and will never be the same. Instead, my Christmas experience this year will be spreading my sister’s ashes. I guess this is life (and death). This year is different, and I tried to do a few things differently. I found, I had to. I did Xmas cards (a first for me, as a single dad) and even wanted to write a personal note on each card. It was a good exercise in gratitude for the family and friends I have in my life. I also put up a tree before thanksgiving. With the tree, I busted out my dad’s old train set from the 1940s and put it back together, as a therapeutic project. I hung lights all over the house, as well. Why all this? you might ask. Well, the answer is sort of simple: I needed more sparkle in my life – some for me and some for my girls. WE ALL NEED MORE SPARKLE.
We can’t stop the magic. We can’t stop living, loving, trying, suffering, healing, creating – and being. Everyday. It’s been the mantra: today might be tough, but tomorrow is a new day – and opportunity for new magic. Always remember: the moments matter. Meanwhile, I have now declared 2019 – 2021 to be the worst years ever! But, in an exciting twist, 2022 is going to be my best year ever!
This is my choice, and I am super stoked!
So, here’s my advice for you, for those you love – and for myself. It is the season of the 3 G’s: Grace, Gratitude, and Grieving.Give family/friends more grace than you normally would. What they carry is unbeknownst to you. We only know what WE carry. Let’s grant everyone a little more space and grace to navigate the holidays in their own way. And, trust me, it’s hard to understand why people make decisions, or behave in certain ways, but the reasons really don’t matter. In a world where we never know what tomorrow will hold, let’s find the moments of gratitude in all we do, while we allow for grief and grieving. It might even sound counterintuitive, as the holidays are reminders of lost loved ones and days gone bad. However, may we all welcome grief and allow it to be part of the holidays, and not something of shame, nor guilt. It’s ok to not be ok.
Enjoy the beautiful moments, feel the moments that aren’t great and know tomorrow is a new blank canvas. I am here for you. People are here for you. Let’s find our sparkle – and let’s bring more sparkle to all we do!