Christmas 2020… was it what you expected?
More than likely, it wasn’t. Even if it looked “normal” it probably didn’t feel normal. I mean, does “normal” even exist this year?
One friend was quarantined with family due to the baby having covid, another gave up her dream of hosting family dinner due to misunderstandings, while another spent her day taking care of patients as an ICU nurse. We all had a strange holiday this year.
Christmas 2020 is my third Christmas without mom.
The third year I hoped to sleep through the day and act like it did not exist.
The third year I felt the void of five Christmas Eve services, mid-night Christmas movies, and packing up the presents to head across town to see what Santa brought the nieces.
Due to a covid scare of our own, I woke up Christmas morning to facetime with the girls in my apartment by myself. When the phone died, I was all alone my thoughts, feeling, and tears. I told everyone it was fine and that I would cook, sleep, and watch movies. But if I’m honest, I slept, cried, and went to that really sad place that grief can take you. Grief and Christmas are hard, okay, grief and all significant days of the year are hard. Grief isn’t something that comes and goes. It’s something that lingers, that raises its ugly head at unexpected moments, and is hard to talk about because no one has the same grief-journey. The more we feel and remember the easier the hard days become. I promise.
None of us had the Christmas we wanted due to a worldwide pandemic. So, whether you enjoyed many of the moment, smiled because you had to, cried when you stepped away, or went to that sad place, please know God was with you.
The Bible tells us that God is near to the broken hearted, that joy does comes in the morning, and that God gives a crown of flowers and beauty in exchange for the ashes of mourning.
You see, I am ok. I survived. After a few days I came out of that sad place. But until we talk about grief, openly and honestly, it will continue to be something people fear and are ashamed of. Don’t be, grieving the loss of someone means you loved them a lot. Or as we say, “I love you bunches and bunches!”
(I know the blogs have become more about grief and life after the death of a loved one. It’s where God has me, it’s the words and voice He is giving. So many people thank me for putting words to this journey. Please, know that I am good. God is doing amazing things in my life, but I am committed to giving words to the feelings as each of us grieve things and people in our lives.)