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The Season of Quiet Mourners

swing sadness

Dec 1st has come and gone, meaning the “Christmas season’ is in full swing. For many, this is all joyous. But for so many, it means a quiet reconciling of loss. Seasons of parties and pictures, family and gatherings, punctuate loss.

I have friends who have recently (or not so recently) said “goodbye” to someone, or some-thing. It seems odd that joyous occasions punctuate loss, but it does. Do you feel it too? Sure, I know there is a season for everything. There is. But there are seasons more difficult than others, Joyous seasons are difficult to sojourn in mourning. No one wants to be a “downer” in the midst of a party season. Smiles are draped like luxurious clothing. I think we must take time to see beyond the “clothes.” We must look past the lights and music. We must look into honest eyes and share in kind with honestly; with genuine care. We must see, really see. It might be as simple as a word of acknowledgement, or a release for tears among smiles; a touch on the shoulder. There is beauty in acknowledgement. Sometimes it is enough to admit we don’t know what’s needed. That’s a start.

Almost EVERYONE I know intimately deals with mourning silently. It is human. Beautifully human. The band of “Quiet Mourners” is real …and thoughtful, honoring and noble in a world full of tell-all, “exploitation at the cost of everyone” photos. Things happen that sometimes can’t be talked about or shared. It’s ok, It doesn’t mean you’re not vulnerable or authentic. It may mean you are respectful of someone else, There is no shame in quiet mourning. It’s a reality. In some ways, it gives a beautiful dignity and poignancy to something real.

I would like to take a moment to honor all of the quiet mourners.

Your dreams have gasped their last breath without celebration or fanfare. Your heart may have broken silently with the loss, at times being so interwoven with someone else’s, that there was no liberty to share the pain. That doesn’t mean it’s less important. That kind of mourning still matters because… you still matter.

You. Matter.

 

 

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Christmas had come.

As beautiful as they are, starry nights and morning dew cannot hold back this fatal grip.

christmas night

Death had been marching for centuries and nearing. Closer and closer he came, bringing a change in the air. The creatures could feel the clamminess and scurried in a frenzy of fear.  The day, the season, the desire, none of this mattered.  They knew death was no respecter of status, age and goodness. Even Earth would become victim.

And so it was that starry night.  Earth groaned and then paled. The chill in the air mirrored the rigid, feeble movements. Only a raspy breath could be heard.  The dark pronounced judgment and the words thundered and echoed through the forests and deserts, “It’s almost over. It’s almost over.”  Then stillness and silence.  Death, in the cloak of darkness, loomed and came close, cradling earth’s head, hovering, waiting.

Minutes felt like eternities as all creation watched. And then it happened…the sky broke open as a light shone from above. Death cowered back in the safety of shadows. A baby cried.  Angels who had gathered  to watch now joined in celebration, and began to sing as darkness dissipated in the glorious light of Emmanuel.  Earth gasped and then breathed long, slow, deep breaths.  The fleshly, rosy color of life returned and a quaking of strength emerged from the depths.  Christmas had come.