The Holidays are No Time for the Bereaved

Christmas in the post-War United States

Image via Wikipedia

“I would say that the holidays is no time for the bereaved.” A dear friend wrote this in response to my post ‘The Damage Done’ in which I mentioned that Christmastime is no time for the brokenhearted.

Bereavement is perhaps a better term for the type of loss I suffered. Losing those we love, to death, to betrayal, to changes, is always painful.

During the holidays, we exult the family; we worship the love of those close to us.

When we lose loved ones, we grieve them most during the holidays. This is only natural. The cycle of life and grief continues. Now, my friend, who has suffered a great loss, mourns more than I do. We can only witness each others’ lives through these cycles of grief, of mourning.

I remember last winter, when the betrayal wound was fresh, the overwhelming pain and loss which I felt during Christmastime.

This year is better.

Christmas triggers unhappy childhood memories for me and for millions others. My mother was not emotionally well. Wanting to provide me with a perfect Christmas, which she had been denied in her impoverished childhood, she created holidays which were pure overwrought fiascos. She tried. Forty years later, I must give her credit. She did not succeed, but she did try. I forgive her. She has passed on from this life, and I pray for her soul. I wish her well.

Christmas is a time when I grit my teeth and bear it. I buy lots of present for my kids and hope they will be happy. Internally, I wish for the day to pass quickly. I drink too much, the night before and the night of. Let it pass. Christmas reminds me of him; it reminds me of those two years so recent yet so far ago in which I thought that he and I and our daughter were reunited again for the rest of our lives. Those were the only Christmases in which I did not despair.

But he was gone from me now; he was a lie. I mourn him, but I am not sure if he is worth mourning.

It is my illusion which I mourn; it is the dream of him as a whole person, not an addict, for which I grieve.

Is it more painful to grieve for a real person than for an imagined one?





[1] To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
[2] A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
[3] A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
[4] A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
[5] A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
[6] A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
[7] A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
[8] A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

One thought on “The Holidays are No Time for the Bereaved

  1. Pingback: Betrayal: A Life Lesson « Phoenix Rising

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