Our son brought up our pre-lit Christmas tree last week, before he picked us up at the airport. He thought I might want to decorate it for our family Thanksgiving at our house. I think this child in his late 40’s still gets excited about Christmas because he already had a gift wrapped and under the tree. I thanked him but wasn’t ready to decorate.
I had been frustrated with how the materialism of Christmas was sneaking up to overtake Thanksgiving. I wanted to keep Thanksgiving for thanks giving. And then my sister died three days before Thanksgiving. Last week my mind was able to do the gymnastics of tumbling between a happy holiday feast with most of our family and the grief of my/our loss. But that is so tiring – being in the two realities of joy and pain.
I’ve turned on the tree lights most days. I’m enjoying the symbolism of this light in my livingroom. For those of us who have chosen to believe that Jesus came to earth as an infant in order to fulfill the Jewish prophesy of a savior, these lights symbolize the coming of our Light in the darkness of the world. These lights remind me of the purpose of Advent – to anticipate the coming of true joy. It is a time of preparation, as I prepare my heart and decorate my home for His coming.
I’m not feeling the excitement quite yet – instead I’m experiencing a very quiet, gentle transition. The ache in my heart longs for and is experiencing the comfort I receive from my faith. But the pain is still there because that is a part of loving and losing. I look forward to our Christmas celebration and I’m preparing with the purchasing of gifts and making of plans with family members. As I make that death walk once again, my heart is also reaching for the joy of living. Living in both worlds means that I’m not overcome with grief nor able to fully engage in the excitement. That is okay for now, because that is where I am.
The lights on my Christmas tree are keeping me centered. They are reminding me that although a part of my life has died, there is a new day with renewed life for me right now. And when I am ready I will be able to celebrate Christmas totally without disrespect for the lost life within my sister.
This post found it’s inspiration in the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Let there be Light. To see more interpretations, click on this link: