It begins with some lines from one of my top three Christmas songs, Sarah McLachlan's Wintersong.
"The lake is frozen over, the trees are white with snow and all around reminders of you are everywhere I go...when silence gets too hard to handle...I daydream and stare."
If you celebrate it, Christmas and New Years can be like a big bowl of chicken soup. But for some, the warm celebrations are overshadowed by those not present, by those empty, empty chairs at the dining room table. A chair where my Dad once sat. A chair where your Grandfather once enjoyed his coffee with much too much sugar, where your cousin once played his guitar, where your spouse winked at you, where your child giggled, where your sister spread jam on her freshly-baked bread, where your friend lifted a wine glass and said, “Cheers.”
Many of us are missing someone all the time, but especially during family-time. I wonder about those who feel an even deeper absence though, for those who “daydream and stare,” aching inside for their departed loved ones.
Whether days or years or decades have passed, a broken heart still aches. Holidays and celebrations may seem like touching a tender bruise. And when the celebrating is over, those chairs may seem especially empty.
If you feel that way, I wish I could do more than just write this for you. It’s a small offering for those who are feeling so deeply blue.
Please know that you are not alone. Regardless of the scars we have, the weights we carry, we are all invited to approach every day the same way: with hope, if only as much as we can muster. Each sunrise pushing away the darkness is another valuable day no one wants you to waste—especially those you wish still filled the chairs at your table.