I’ve been trying to avoid holiday shows on television, but I love This Is Us and had no idea that it’s holiday episode would trigger deep sadness in me at the end due to too much similarity between how it ends and some of the Christmases I’ve had that were brutal (like burying my mom the day after because that’s how the timing worked best for our family). I cried so hard, in a good way I think, because I am all about releasing right now and I need to release the grief – or no, not the grief – I need to release the hardness and suffering of holidays past. Grief is beautiful because we feel the missing of those who are no longer with us or far away and the great emptiness we feel is equal to the great love we feel for them and love is always good. I miss my mom and my sister and my children and the friends with whom I shared holidays past. I can feel that and still enjoy the holiday season in a different way with the person that I am sharing life with now, in the present, with whom I have the brightest and biggest love I’ve known, which is worth celebrating every single day all on its own.
It’s only the second Christmas of my adult life that I won’t be with any of my children and that is hard. Being an empty-nester is much harder than I imagined it would be. I’ve been trying to block the holidays out of my awareness as much as possible while being surrounded by holiday everything everywhere; but the truth is this has mostly been a joyful time for me – a season of light, sparkle and generosity with beautiful rituals – and I know now that resilience looks like reclaiming the holidays in some new way with my husband, since he’s the one I know will be there every year as long as we’re both alive. It’s time to let go of the kind of holiday that is mostly about the children. It’s time to figure out how we do an intimate and adult holiday season around the Winter Solstice since we’re magical people who run with the rhythms of nature.
This year I understand this rhythm better than ever, the rhythm of descending into the darkness and incubating in a seed and knowing that I am going to bloom again with the light. I’ve been in the dark a long time. Four years. I had no idea how dark it was until I had to face myself this summer and autumn after I was stripped of everything I thought gave me value, meaning and reason for being. I have to admit that I am looking forward to truly feeling the air and the light in my life again.