How many of you remember cassette tapes where you could fast-forward through a song that you didn’t like and find the one you preferred to listen to over and over again? It was never easy to guess when to stop the fast-forward button, and so you would have to stop and start a few times. Sometimes you would fast-forward for too long and miss the song that you really wanted to hear.
For many people, Christmas grief is much like that. They want to fast-forward to the other side of Christmas to a place where they don’t have to experience the season and the ‘song’ that goes with it.
Does that sound familiar?
Are you missing someone very special this Christmas? Is the thought of them not being there too difficult to imagine? You don’t want the strong emotions that come from their absence to overtake you. You would like to put your life and Christmas on fast-forward.
Let’s go back to the cassette tape for a moment. While I did prefer certain songs in the long playlist, I did take time to listen to a few others and began to enjoy different songs as well. Sometimes I’d land on one of the less familiar songs by accident, but decided to listen anyway. Soon, I began to appreciate those ones on the playlist as well.
Your Christmas will never be the same without that special person who is no longer present for your festivities. But do you really want to fast-forward through this Christmas?
Even in the midst of your missing, you must open up your heart to the new songs being played around you. You are not disallowing the old song to play in your heart, you are just opening yourself up to a world, to a life, to people that love you. Why not play a few notes for your hurting heart?
Written by Rick Bergh, bereavement educator.