An empty chair
The unworn apron
One less Christmas card
Cookie recipes unmade
The present that doesn't need to be purchased
A voice missed singing favorite Christmas songs
The silence meant to be filled with laughter
A gap in the family picture
The lack of a close hug and kiss on the cheek
One 'Merry Christmas' too few
but unable to be mustered
This is for my friends who have known
This is for those I love,
those I know well,
those I am getting to know,
those I have known in the past, but am distant from at this time of my life
those I do not know at all,
but with whom I share an experience...
I have lost my mother.
You have lost yours.
You have lost your father.
is your First.
batch of parties & celebrations
Day after Christmas
This is your first time to push yourself through the sadness
Your first time to remember
and call out
and long for
and ache for
for the way it was
for the Christmases of your childhood
or your years as a teenager
or your breaks at home from college
or your earliest days as an adult
or your first times as a parent
When they were there
When they were a part of the day
of the season
of the laughter
They were there
I know, oh too well
how it feels...
I know how the
from being without them
Yes, there are joys
there are moments
there are delights
there are traditions in place
efforts made to
live, love and laugh during these days.
if you are like me
if you love deeply
if you feel openly
(and even if you don't)
there is a Blanket you'd love
to wrap yourself in
That Blanket is
Oh what I would give to see her smile one more time
to watch her, watch my children open their gifts this year.
What I would give to set a place for her at my table
What I would give to spoil her
and buy her a gift from my heart.
Her smile of fondness, would warm me.
What I would give to hear her sing, "Joy to the World."
Completing every verse by heart.
Her favorite carol.
What I would give to hear her sing it just one more time.
Her voice would soothe me.
There was a time,
the first two or three Christmases,
When I could open a box of her decorations
and still smell her on them.
I would sit on the floor,
ease open the flaps on the cardboard box,
And she would comfort me.
And the ache is still there
I still long for that voice
Not with the same overwhelming,
of the first year
or the second year
or even three years ago
but it still rests on my heart
because I know this is your first year
I feel it fresh
I am sad with you, my friend
I hurt for you
and feel a tenderness
I wish I could give you a blanket.
I wish there were a way,
I could sit with you
pour you something warm to drink,
make your favorite childhood dinner
tell you the stories he used to tell you
encourage you the way she was able
listen to you as only they could
hold your hand in mine
smile at you they way they would
and tell you all the wonderful things
they loved the most...
This is the best I can do.
I can only offer this:
and prayers for light, and love and peace
to fill your heart
of the days
from times past.
You are loved
You are remembered
Your loss from this year has not been forgotten
The world has moved on.
Activities have resumed.
Life has continued.
But I remember.
I remember that you have lost.
What you have lost.
Who you have lost.
You are missing them.
You are not exactly the same person you were this time last year.
You are without her
You are without him
Merry, Hopeful, First Christmas Like This.
I love you,