There is no question that Christmas is a time of conflict for those who are grieving. In the raw and early times after my baby's death, I found myself thinking that it was difficult to celebrate the birth of the Christ child, when all I wanted was my child! But time and a great deal of healing has been a soothing balm, so that I've learned to embrace a different attitude of gratitude, and I've found great truths in the experience of living a life of meaning and depth of understanding of what it means to be human in these situations.
Being a rather insistent optimist, I always try to find greater opportunity for evolution of my soul in these life changing events. My child's death and the experience of my son's journey through addiction has taught me profound things, especially about the tenacity of the human spirit and the tremendous power in the call to Love as our Creator loves us. Many things have come and gone, but the Love question has left me in awe over and over again. And so it is this Love that I choose to embrace and make ever stronger, like a light in the darkness of mood or day...
When I recall how desperate my grief was in dark times, I am sometimes astounded that I survived those black early days of devastated grief. It leaves me ever more amazed at what is possible in healing when we are willing to acknowledge a power greater than you and I in our lives, that makes everything a spiritual question. Exploring my spirituality has only succeeded in bringing greater life and peace to my life on many successive levels as I allow the Teacher to come in and I am a receptive Student.
I'd recently spent some time making candles, as I do each year around this time. It is another creative manner of expressing myself, and I find it a soothing and peaceful exercise. Imagine my delight when a friend gave me a timely copy of a poem that was written by Reginald Holmes.
If you left the Christmas spirit tucked away upon the shelf,
Take it down and start the season by giving of yourself.
Just by saying "Merry Christmas" with a smile upon your face,
You can make some person happy and the world a better place.
If life's hardly worth the living, find yourself a worthy cause;
Take that basket to the needy; make believe you're Santa Claus!
If the spark of faith is feeble, you may well be reconciled,
If you read the Christmas story to a lonely little child...
If you're someone who is looking for a mission to fulfill,
Be a living Christmas candle on the world's wide windowsill.