Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

For Some, It Will Take More Than Just Getting Through The Holidays

There will be so many this year, who are struggling not just financially or physically with the holidays this year, but emotionally.  For some, it will be about loss.  For some, it is dealing with a crisis of the unknown.  This situation can be something that we have all experienced at one time or another in our lives, but is amplified this time of year.

I am one of those who has struggled through this season, his entire adult life, and most of his teenage years.  I was fourteen when I experienced the greatest amount of loss during the holidays, three relatives (between both sides of the family), between Christmas and New Years.

And then, there was 1988, when I was diagnosed with cancer, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, right at the beginning of the holiday season.  To complicate that further, being a Christian, my faith had been put to an extreme test, because the one place that I needed most at that time, I was turned away, because there was no time for me because of the busy time of year in the church.

In the thirty years since, it would be easier to list the years that I did not struggle during this season, because I could do it on one hand.

I am not the only one who has a hard time this time of year.  Every year, chances are there is someone in our life, who has is struggling with a crisis right now, or dealing with a loss for the first time, perhaps even recently.  Struggles and grief are hard enough during the rest of the year, only amplified during the yuletide season.

And then there is 2020.   The extraordinary loss of life, and the disastrous results of the economy are hitting us like never before.  For many of us, we know that is did not have to get this bad.  The reality is, it is this bad.  Loss of jobs, income, an empty spot at the kitchen table, forever.

I have been in the hospital this time of year, both as patient, and as caregiver.  Anyone else who has been in this situation, would agree, we would give anything to not be in that situation, especially during this time of year.

And like many, I have experienced loss during this time of year, getting through the holidays without a loved one, for the first time.

I ask that we all keep those in our thoughts and hearts during this time of year.  By all means, celebrate.  But please remember those who are facing difficulties, or loss for the first time, this season.  Wish good tidings of cheer, but also offer supportive words and gestures to those in need.

That is how we all get through these difficult days.

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