It’s Christmas time. And here’s what I’m thinking:
Holidays are difficult for many, many people for a variety of reasons but most are related to loss of some kind.
Everyone is not “happy” and our attempts to “make them cheer up” (for godsake) only exacerbates feelings of depression and loneliness. They know we can’t be trusted with the truth that their hearts are aching, that they are sore from grief, that there are relationships they want to restore and can’t no matter how hard they try, that memories of their dead kin and/or friend/lover makes them hold their breath to keep from feeling the intensity of the pain, and on and on.
They know that their grief makes us feel helpless (or even angry)… I mean, forgod’ssake at least through the holidays, fake it for US!!!! “YOU’RE SO SELFISH! IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU!!!” And so we make those who suffer almost unbearably during the holidays feel bad for not taking care of us and our emotions. If we can’t see a “real good reason” for them to “still” be sad, depressed, lonely, etc., then we’re REALLY pissed off. And besides, our compassion only lasts through the first story of their grief. They’re not allowed to sit near it or (godforbid) in it. And if there is more, we become more Job’s friends than Job’s friends were. We begin to theologize and philosophize about why they are the way they are, in the condition they are in, unable to break out ot the condition, and on and on.
I am praying for people struggling in this Christmas time. Not every shepherd heard angels sing. Not everyone saw a special star. Not everyone dreamed dreams. Some people hobbled along without any sense that anything had changed around them. There are still people who don’t. I am praying for you.