… on death at christmas


Someone important to our family just entered hospice care.  A wonderful woman, loving and strong. A woman who is loved, who will be missed.

And the world will be one voice quieter.

Have one less heart.

What I know of death is more than some, less than others. It’s not a contest.

But one thing I know is, whether it’s a mother or father, son or daughter, friend, neighbor, … any being special to us, even a beloved animal companion … when someone dies during the holidays, it can add a whole new dimension to grief.

It is true, I think, that a broken heart is an open heart.

For me, the death of a loved one opens me up, my very being unfurled.

I find myself so aware, and so willing to pay attention to each and every thing that is happening as my heart feels like it is breaking, and I have to clutch my chest sometimes… to keep it inside, not allow it to flee.

I love this time of year.  It is a time that some celebrate the birth of the Christ child, others celebrate the winter solstice, and still others just celebrate the traditions of gift giving and general merriment.

I celebrate Joy, and the whole idea of magic in everyday life.

I decorate, I listen to the music (O Holy Night, sung well, can bring tears to this lapsed Catholic’s eyes), I am uplifted for weeks in my celebration. It is personal, and it is also contagious… the way good cheer often is.

I don’t want anyone, should my time on this beautiful planet end during the holidays, to allow their own celebration be dimmed, or to feel somehow ‘less’ about their holidays, however they celebrate them.

I would want them to feel more.

See more.

Smile and laugh and dance more.

And as I was thinking about that, these words came to me, on the air and floating slowly by, so I wouldn’t miss them.

If I die at Christmastime,
Cast my ashes on the snow
Sing to me of silent nights
And let my spirit go

I’ll be back with each tradition
In songs of joy that lift your heart
In the lights that twinkle softly
The crackling fire in the hearth

If I must leave at Christmastime
Let the magic fill your core
Feel its sparkle, light and love
And let your dear heart soar

As time floats by, I’ll still return
From my ride on joy’s light beams
Oh, I’ll be home for Christmas
In your heart and in your dreams.


Thanks for readin’.

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