Search This Blog

Sunday, 24 November 2013

SEASON OF GOOD CHEER - OR TEARS?






I had lunch with a close friend this week but I didn't ask her if she was looking forward to Christmas. The reason?  I know she isn't. Despite her forced good humour and pseudo smiles she is one of many  who regard the coming season as another cruel reminder of what they have lost. My friend is a widow with no close family and though we'd love to see her at ours on 'The Day,' she prefers to stay at home.

Wouldn't it be great sometimes if we didn't have to follow etiquette? If we could just tell each other how we feel, especially at this time of the year?  It may be very un-English but I'm sure it would do us a lot of good.

One of the most moving blogs I have ever read belongs to Ben Brooks Dutton who lost his wife in a car accident in November 2012 after less than two years of marriage ( and one adorable son.)  Ben has found empathy through 'Life as a Widower'  connecting with many thousands of bereaved families, most of whom whom he has never met.

In his usual direct  manner he says this week '....I realised that I’ve spent all year gearing up towards calendar dates that ultimately don’t matter – a series of ‘firsts’ since my wife’s death including birthdays and anniversaries – and Christmas is just another. I just don’t think that I need to be reminded every day for the next month that Christmas is coming because I already know. And I’m as excited about it as the turkeys waiting to be slaughtered. I don’t begrudge anyone else’s fun at all, I just don’t feel much like being a part of it.'

So here's a challenge. Over the next four weeks, ask someone you know how they  feel about Christmas  and give them a chance to be honest.  It might make you feel better. And it just might make them feel better, too.


You can find Ben's blog on
http://wp.me/p32rUR-1rF




8 comments:

Diane Eagle said...

I do agree with you there are so many people who find Christmas so difficult,they have memories of loved ones they have lost and family they wont see but idont think anyone should be alone at Christmas unless they really want to after all its the season of good will and the celebration of the birth of Jesus,a time of reaching out to others and asking them how they are feeling.

Guernsey Girl said...

I'm so glad you agree, Diane and thanks for stopping by. I've already tried asking people to be honest about Christmas - and it works!

Elaineyross said...

As you know, I always dread Christmas - and yes, you also know I absolutely do appreciate my lovely family and my wonderful grandchildren. So why is it such an ordeal then? It's more about my personal perspective - no reflection at all on my loved ones. Good that you've given me the opportunity to voice my feelings so thank you! Despite all that, I note that the first picture you have featured in this piece was taken last Christmas at my house when we had such a great day - I can't have got it so wrong then. x

Suzie Tullett said...

I'm going to be spending my very first Christmas on my own this year and for someone who loves Christmas, it feels a bit daunting. I'm putting a positive slant on it and telling myself it will be great for research purposes; an experience I might be able to draw upon in my writing at some point. And unlike for others, spending mine on my own isn't anything to do with loss, something I'm very much thankful for x

Guernsey Girl said...

I'd no idea you were spending Christmas on your own for the first time this year, Suzie, but grateful to you for saying so on here. I love your positivity and am determined to think of something to be thankful for every day between now and you-know-when!

Guernsey Girl said...

No,Elaine, you didn't get it wrong. You're a great Christmas-maker, but maybe you find it hard being a Christmas-taker? :)

Nikki-ann said...

I know a colleague of mine isn't so thrilled about Christmas and I know my brother seems to turn into Scrooge an hour or so into Christmas Day... :)

Guernsey Girl said...

I know what you mean, Nikki-Ann. Sometimes people hide behind the Scrooge label to avoid having to join in! Maybe we should have a non-Christmas day as well :)