Christmas Past


Dear Dharma,

It is getting close to Christmas (or the “Holiday Season” if you are one of those PC types) and most everyone I know is feeling the love and grooving with the Xmas vibe.

Last year just before Christmas my Grandfather passed away, and it really upset me.  He was probably the closest relative I had, I could talk to him way easier than my parents, and he was always 100% on my side, even when he thought I was being an ass.  His attitude was if I didn’t make mistakes, how was I going to learn anything?  He was always there, not with an ‘I told you so’, but with a ‘Huh, that didn’t go well…now what?’

Anyways, I really miss him, and this time of year just bums me out.  How do I explain to all my friends that I am not in the spirit of the season, and can’t buy into their happiness?

Got the Christmas Blues

Dear Christmas Blues,

I’m sorry for the loss of your grandfather.  You likely already know how lucky you are for having such a great relationship with him, which makes the loss that much more difficult, I’m sure.

The way you explain what you are going through to your friends is exactly how you explained it here – with one exception.

It’s not that you can’t “buy into” their happiness – it’s more that you can’t share in it this year.  Not “buying into” it implies it doesn’t exist, except that it does – for them.  And that’s not a bad thing, in fact it’s great that they are enjoying the Christmas season.  That’s something you want to be sensitive to, in the same way you want them to be sensitive to what you are going through this year.

I’ve said “this year” a couple of times now, because it’s important to know you won’t feel this bummed out every Christmas.  You will always be aware that this is the time of year you lost your grandfather, but year by year, the feelings of loss will mellow – and the best thing is you will always be left with the precious memories you have of him.

So if you aren’t up to certain things this year, take a pass.  People will understand.  Do things that bring you peace.  Maybe do something to honour his memory.  Light a candle at a church (the first time I did that was such a bittersweet and uplifting experience), write him a letter, take a walk down a snowy street sprinkled with lights.  Or just settle in at home and let yourself off the hook from any expectations.  This year.


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Categories: Holidays

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