Image via Wikipedia"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold everything is softer and more beautiful." Aptly said by Norman Peale! Yes, it is the gentlest and loveliest time and yet, it speaks with a strong authority of beautiful love.This is the time when it is not only about wrapping gifts but being wrapped up with family and friends. But, what do you do when that wholesome family is not complete anymore? There is a precious person whose absence is felt at all times as she/he journeys into the other world.
You are at the most perfect midnight mass with the choir belting out numinous carols and hymns and yet, you are stifling a muffled sigh.
The choir sings, "Silent Night" or "Ave Maria" and it takes every ounce of self control to hold back those tears as you shudder visualising an angel statue over a tiny grave.
At your warm home, your other kids and family are gleefully unwrapping gifts, but you are silently pining away for your lost kid. You even keep gifts for her/him and get some underprivileged child to open it. Your beloved departed is with you throughout the celebrations - while decorating, while preparing goodies, they even open gifts and cut the cake with you. But, they are not physically there and that can be excruciatingly painful.
Having lost his two year old kid some years ago, an old man says, I do not feel like decorating or getting involved in the celebrations. Especially, considering my wife has really lost herself and has not recovered. She does things robotically. But, I brave it out and get fully involved because of my other kids as they look up to me.
Touchingly, he continues, "Besides, in my heart I know that my deceased son would definitely want me to celebrate the Lord's birthday and be happy."
Psychologists even advise, "There is no harm or disrespect in celebrating. Your loved one would want you to find comfort where and when it comes."
Summing up courage - "Yes, it is very painful but there is no excuse to not celebrate the Lord's birthday. But this year, I intend volunteering at a shelter for the homeless to help other people."
Yes, reaching out and helping the needy ranks uppermost in bringing comfort to the bereaved. On the personal front, I decorate the Christmas tree involving my other kids. At the end, we crown the tree with my deceased baby girl's pearl chain. Faded it might be over the years, but it occupies the topmost place on our tree alongside a charming angel.
And gifts and goodies in my departed baby girl's name are given away to orphans and the underprivileged. That is the best form of comfort during a season where you long to love wholesomely and be loved in return. Because, those we have held in our arms for a little while, we hold in our hearts forever.
Many say that I see the world through rose-coloured lenses, I'm glad I do. As, I can always find that silver lining. Therefore, while my pain and problems are a multitude, in my heart I can still find gratitude.