Christmas time holds such joyful memories for me. It also holds bittersweet ones. Nine years ago, my father passed away at Christmas.
That year I got “the call” that I needed to come home earlier than I had planned because he might not make it to Christmas. Arriving at my parents’ and seeing my dad so changed since our last visit, it was difficult to come to grips with our reality. We worked—at my father’s insistence—to have as normal a Christmas as possible while knowing that it would be nothing but.
Yet it was a wonderful time for us. There was so much love from friends and family. So much support from our local Hospice Society, the Canadian Red Cross Health Equipment Loan Program, and the nurse who regularly came to our home.
I’ll always remember the joy that filled me when I woke up that Christmas morning and heard my dad’s voice upstairs. It was a gift for all of us. He passed away a couple of days later.
Those of us who have lost a loved one often feel it more keenly at the holidays. For some, Christmas loses all of its sparkle.
For those of you facing your own struggles this Christmas, I wish you love, courage, and hope. I wish you the time and space to feel what you need to feel, and to honour your loved ones past and present.
Merry blue Christmas