Reflections on Christmas Past (The Vacuum at the Christmas Table)

The approach to  Christmas tends to be a time of reflection; for looking back as well as forward to the New Year. This time last year, I was planning a wedding, but this did not make every day a happy day. This is what I wrote on this day a year ago:

(from thirtysomethingbride)

By vacuum, I mean unfillable empty space, rather than someone who can suck up a large quantity of food in very little time, although we will have one of those too.

Best Man is not going to be with us. Our family is lopsided, having one child permanently (my daughter) and one half the time (his son). This means that sometimes it feels as if we are a small rocking ship, periodically struggling for balance as we adjust to a member of the crew leaving, then getting back in as soon as the ripples have subsided. The transition gets smoother as time goes on and we grow more used to the rhythm of his visits, but at times like Christmas, the lack of one family member becomes glaringly apparent.

My Intended feels this most of all. At first, when we spoke of this Christmas, he would say ‘but we are not having Christmas until after Boxing Day, when (Best Man) is here.’ When I pointed out that Chief Bridesmaid would still be expecting to have Christmas on Christmas Day, we made plans accordingly (we’ll spend it with my family). Best Man will be sorely missed, although of course he’ll be having fun with his Mum and other step-family. It’s hard to know what the situation is like for him, but maybe it’s easier to be the one leaving rather than the one who is left behind…

My Intended sat morosely playing his guitar last night, and I became irritated by his gloom. Many angry rants were running through my mind (all beginning with ‘you’ and ending in ‘ruining Christmas’ and ‘always in a mood’), until he said to me

‘My Dad died on this day.’

Even after 5 years together, there’s so much I don’t know and so many things I never thought to ask.

Today, I direct my thoughts and good wishes to those who will feel loss and sadness this Christmas. Peace and love, I wish them…


2 thoughts on “Reflections on Christmas Past (The Vacuum at the Christmas Table)

  1. Holidays can be so rough for those who have experienced loss, or other trials. My late husband came home for hospice on 12/12 and died on 12/14. I remember the funeral on the 18th and allt he “holiday” festivies. Fast forward 7 years, I am remarried and happy but this time of year always brings a sadness or melancholy to me. My niece made me a gingerbread house and gave it to me at the funeral and to this day, I always feel sad when I see one.

    • Oh that must have been such a sad Christmas for you. I can’t imagine what it would be like to suffer such a loss at a time when everyone around is celebrating. I am so glad to hear that you are happy now, but it sounds as if the grieving goes on, even if softened by time.
      My husband’s Dad died when he was 9 years old, a long time ago, but I think Christmas will always be a melancholy time for him, in a way.
      Thank you for stopping by and commenting.
      I wish you a peaceful Christmas.

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