Dealing with hardships is especially hard during the holidays. It seems that many of us are living with the unimaginable. Our perception of what Christmas should be like is a far cry from our reality.
I’ve had several posts that I’ve wanted to write about this time of year and how hard it can be. I know so many people are going through such hard times.
R’s birthday was Monday. I have been doing so well. I thought I was ready. But, I was wrong. It was a tough day. After 5 years, it was still a hard day. He would have been 56. But, he never even got to see 51. That is a hard reality to sit with sometimes!
I was lucky to get to spend the past weekend with M. We were going to celebrate her dad’s birthday just like we did last year. And, we did. There was a lot left unsaid. We knew. We just know. Sometimes there are just no words.
One very special thing that we did for ourselves was to go see Hamilton. I would go again to see it today if I could. Yes, it is that good!!! I really didn’t know anything about Alexander Hamilton before going. Rest assured, I’m reading a biography now. Although his life’s story is fascinating. His wife, Eliza, is the more significant story to me. I love hearing the stories of strong women!!! I think throughout history, so many stories have a strong woman who sat quietly in the background and lived a great, inspiring life.
Alexander Hamilton had an affair which Eliza found out about. Soon after, their oldest son is shot and killed (in part because of her husband.) Eliza is faced with living with all of this. At this point in the musical, an incredible song, “It’s Quiet Uptown” is sung. That song did for me, what live theatre is meant to do– It brought me to tears. Even in our nosebleed seats, I felt so connected with the characters and had tears streaming down my face. I haven’t been able to get the song out of my mind. Lin-Manuel Miranda knew about hardship and grief when he wrote that song.
The great thing about Eliza Hamilton’s story is that even after Alexander Hamilton’s death, she went on to do great things. She learned to live with the unimaginable.
Dealing With Hardships During The Holidays
So I write this today, knowing that so many are hurting this holiday season. I just want to reach out and let you know that you are not alone. I know this can be a lonely time of year, but the real meaning of this time is so personal. It’s not about the get-togethers, it’s not even about family- not really. It’s about a lonely night all those years ago, and the implication that this one birth has had on the world since. It’s about Jesus. That is where we find our hope. That is where we find the peace that passes all understanding.
I’m not saying that our hurts are not valid. Pain can overshadow the most wonderful of moments. I’m just saying that for me, I need to sharpen my focus on the one thing that really matters this time of year. Not the food, the gifts, the decorations, the loneliness, the sadness, the family, the hardships, the beauty, the celebrations because those all co-exist together this time of year.
It takes work to change our focus. It isn’t easy, but it can sure make this time of year more bearable.
Read More About Grief
To read what a Now Choose Life reader shared about her journey with grief, click the link below.