Christmas and the weeks following are bad times for me. I have a hard time aligning the festivities and joy with my disgust for the frantic commercial greed. I also get very conflicted emotionally as I experience serenity as well as sadness over the people no longer alive.
Christmas for me was one of the best times of the year when I was young. Sitting by the fireplace with my grandmother and just be close to my family was an amazing time. Then my grandmother got cancer and passed away. My father brought her home for Christmas and that was the last time I saw her. A fragile shell of her former self trying her very best to be brave and strong for one last Christmas.
After that Christmas was never the same.
Where Christmas once was a time of serenity and warm comfort it is today a reminder of what was lost. People I loved and that in many ways represent a wonderful childhood. My grandfather I never got to know as he passed away when I was only one. My grandmother, Moster Anna, Axel and Berta, even if she never joined us at Christmas she meant a lot for me.
Then in 2011 my younger brother was found dead.
The feeling of loosing my only sibling is hard and during a time when family and coming together that loss feels even harder than normal. Even if I am surrounded by family I still feel alone as I am the only one that can understand what loosing my brother means as a sibling. My parents have each other and I can still see the sting of loosing a child in their eyes even if they try to hide it. I am sure they can see my pain, no matter how I try to hide it as well.
With the darkness outside matching the darkness inside it is fair to say that this is not my favorite time of the year. The lack of snow in later years only seem to amplify this sense of change and things coming to an end.
Then the year end as all things do.
As much as this time burden me emotionally it also act as a catalyst for something new. It act in many ways as a natural reset of my internal energy. It forces me to dive deep into the darkness so I can work through it and return stronger. It works like a more intensive cleanse of what I normally do when my energy levels are low. By letting myself be embraced by the dark emotions I can work through them and find the light again. It is a process I have learned over the years, which works well for me.
So as I lay here in bed and write this I feel the sensation of all colors being grayed out intensify. Sadness has a hold of my heart and I want nothing more than stay in bed forever. As my fingers type down my emotions and my mind process the feelings I feel inside this fades. In it's place I find a renewed energy and a spark of something else.
A new beginning with endless possibilities.
A new year, a new beginning with endless possibilities are before me. Where I felt nothing but loss and loneliness I am now reminded that my loved ones may be gone from this world, but they are all alive inside of me. I am the man I am because of them and I carry the memory of them in my heart always. I am also reminded that there are loved ones still alive all around me and the loneliness goes away.
it is true what they say that sometimes it is only in the deepest darkness you can find that tiny sliver of light that you need to move forward to something great. For me I experience that every year around this time and as painful as it is I welcome it.
As the sun sets outside and darkness falls on the world around me I no longer focus on that. I focus on the soft light flowing from every window in the buildings around me. I focus on the soft laughter coming from my sons room as he play with friends from all over the world and I focus on the soft sounds from my wife as she makes dinner for us.
I no longer dread the sunset, I look forward to the next sunrise.
Another year has passed and the winter will remain for a few more months.
In my heart however, spring is already here.
I hope it is in yours as well.