I read this post this morning : http://www.becomingminimalist.com/the-white-envelope/ and it touched off something inside me I'd been pushing down for weeks.
So now I'm quietly crying as my children run around me on this cold, lazy Sunday morning. Letting myself feel some truths I've been masking by work, hustle, busy-ness, and helping others.
I miss my Dad and I'll never stop missing him.
So when I read about other families and the holes in theirs it reminds me of the universal nature of grief.
And the holiday season is really difficult. This time when the perfect picture of family units is presented to the world.
I've even done it myself.
So I'm giving myself some reality. I'm giving myself a moment to reflect and realize that it is okay to feel how I do. That I have the tools to feel happy and sad at the same time. I have the tools to see the beauty of my life now and what I've gained, and feel sadness thinking about what I've lost.
And my Dad was a giver too. Since we celebrated Chanukah as a family, and opened presents on Christmas with my Mom's family we had eight nights of gifts followed or coinciding with a morning of them. I knew my privilege then. So when my parents suggested using part of our eight nights of Chanukah to give back we were happy to. We donated to charities, we went to the mall and picked names of children in need and bought and wrapped them gifts, we donated our time. And I continue that with my children. Every year the gifts they receive for their birthdays that they choose are donated to the NHCADSV to give to their shelter programs. So women who are escaping abusive relationships have new, unwrapped presents to give to their children. A simple luxury many of us take for granted.
And I share this now, in this moment of grief to not only remind myself I can do good with my connection with sadness and my past, and perhaps inspire you to.
Honoring traditions, honoring your feelings and connection to your past, and giving back. Those are deeply important aspects of the holiday season. And in the hustle and bustle of this season they can be forgotten, pushed down, ignored.
So, even if it means you cry a little bit as your lazy Sunday unwinds around you, cry a little bit and be honest with yourself.
It feels good.