I’m struggling this Christmas.
I want to make it magical for my kids–because my Christmases growing up were magical–but those memories make me sad. I can’t help but think back on Christmas Eves snuggled next to my mom and little brother reading The Polar Express. I remember the feeling of being awoken by Riley on Christmas morning, letting me know that Santa had come. Or both Riley and I being awoken by our dad (we were great sleepers). Of climbing excitedly into my parents’ bed and waiting while one of them went downstairs to start the coffee. As I think about how I can make my boys’ Christmas as exciting and wonder-filled, I can’t help but stumble, again and again, on the deep dark hole of my own loss.
My brother. My co-pilot on the journey of childhood.
Even tonight, I realized I was looking forward to spending time with my brother, the adult, and only then did I remember that I wouldn’t be seeing him. Not on Christmas, or anywhere else in my life on Earth. I try to tell myself that at least i know he is safe…but even knowing where he is doesn’t make my own grief feel any better. I feel loss so acutely. It’s like a hot ember I hold in my hand. I am shielding it from the world because it’s private, it’s mine; also because I don’t know who would understand, or who to talk to who isn’t tired of hearing about it. Even if I knew who to talk to, I don’t have any more words to say.
I’m just so sad.
That’s all that comes to mind, over and over.
So I sit here, drowning quietly in my grief, watching time pass so quickly with my kids, trying to give them a glimpse of an experience that is so out of reach for me now, for so many reasons.