To The Ones Who Hurt This Season

Deck the halls with drama.

Fat Santa inflatables puff to life on lawns in my neighborhood. Colored lights burn warm around window frames, and star-topped trees flash gold as threaded tinsel peeks through pine branches.

Yes there is cheer — elaborate displays of cheer.

My emotions waver from euphoria to agony, agony to euphoria. I am grateful, but I’m also a little glum.

I know the holidays aren’t easy for everyone. The ache intensifies for those who are lonely. The gristly edges of sadness grow sharp and long in the glow of holiday merriment. As for me and mine, I see the contrast between what is and what should be. I feel the cold wind that spans the distance between members of my family and me. Yes, I have plenty of people to love and reasons to rejoice, but I also grieve for others who aren’t in my life, and for the ones whose poor choices ultimately keep us from growing closer.

There are relationships I wish to change but cannot. This time of year brings confusion, and bad memories burn tiny holes in my heart. So here’s where I deck the halls with drama. Here’s where I spell out my feelings— because telling my truth helps loose grief’s grip on my heart.

I feel like the wet end of a mop, tear-soaked and wrung heavy with grief. And I know I’m not the only one.

So here’s to everyone who hurts this season. Here’s to those who have lost someone or something meaningful — single ladies, single men, widows and widowers. Here’s to those who are fed up, stressed out, swimming in debt, or struggling to climb out of some hardship.

I do not wish you a merry Christmas, a happy holiday or a season of unceasing joy. Instead, I offer you space to breathe and feel the prick of whatever has brought you pain. It’s OK to hurt. Pain is a snake that shrinks and stretches, shrinks and stretches. It comes and goes, and comes again.

And sometimes we just need permission to acknowledge the ache.

  • Carol Cassara
    December 15, 2017

    Having a daily meltdown or two this season is part of my routine. My sudden loss two weeks ago is still fresh. But add to it that 20 years ago we buried my mom on Christmas Eve and two years ago my BFF died on the day after Christmas and it’s a heavy load. Blessings to you this season.

    • Rica Lewis
      December 19, 2017

      WOW, I’m so sorry,Carol. Blessings to you as well.

  • Mona AlvaradoFrazier
    December 18, 2017

    Well said and needed. Thank you for your post.

    • Rica Lewis
      December 19, 2017

      Thank you, Mona! I appreciate your comment.

  • Hope Leslie
    December 22, 2017

    Thank you for acknowledging the pain and stress that the holidays bring. This year is particularly difficult on many fronts, and your post made me feel less lonesome. ❤️

    • Rica Lewis
      January 6, 2018

      So sorry you’re feeling stress this season. But I am glad you are comforted, at least a little, by the fact that you are not alone. I wish you the best, Hope. Stay in touch!

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