Holidays are a time for families. Families gathered around the kitchen sharing stories and laughs. For some this is hard to do. It is hard to find joy this time of year when faced with loss or a serious diagnosis. You don’t normally think about, or hope that in not thinking about it you are avoiding bringing something like that upon yourself or your loved ones, but it does happen. Happens more often than we would like to think about.
A father is diagnosed with cancer, a son is killed in a car accident, a friend seriously wounded in an accident. These things happen. It is part of life. It is how we cope with these events that define who we are as human beings.
We sometimes look at the holidays as some sort of deadline or crescendo. Where we are trying to meet someone special by this time of year or we are prepping for family to come in or planing some big party for everyone we know. Whatever is going on in your life the holidays can create an atmosphere of high stress, but can also provide us time for a moment to breath from our normal everyday lives. A time to reflect on where we came from and where we want to go. It is this “free time” that allows our brain to remember those we have lost and the bad news we have received over the past year. It is a time for some of us to grieve our loss or the unexpected fork in the road.
It is a time for the realization of change.
“The only thing that is constant is change.” – Heraclitus
Life is full of changes. Some can be hard and some can be good. This is the season to reflect on the good of life. To reflect on the good of man, of the people that are no longer with us physically around the tree. A time to remember the impact those people had on our lives and how we are better/different/stronger for knowing them, for letting them in to touch our lives. We are fragile creatures, humans, made up of skin, blood, ideas, hopes, and dreams. It is important to remember those we have let in, those we have allowed to impact us. It is also a time to accept that we are left here to live on, remember their legacy, and pass our knowledge on to the next generation.
I have no answers for how to heal wounds, but I know that we all must grieve in our own way. We all must heal and we all must find a way to continue on. We must cling to the hope of a better tomorrow. That we may take what we have learned from those before us and better not only ourselves, but those around us. During this holiday season we must remember those lost, accept a change in our expected life story, and hope for a future full of joy, peace and love.
It is important to grieve and reminisce, but don’t forget to appreciate what is in front of you. The present you have been dealt and the future that is before you. If in this time of reflection you don’t like one of these then make a change! It is not too late! It doesn’t have to be drastic, it can be small (like forcing yourself to smile in the morning, or giving yourself a compliment in the mirror), but don’t wait. If that is one thing I have learned “life waits for no man (or woman).” If you want something go out and take it, don’t let fear or doubt stop you. If you are faced with bad news face it head on, ask questions, now is not the time to be shy. Gain what information you can and deal with it in an up front manner. Appreciate the time you are given and find ways to celebrate it. We are only given a handful, so make it count!