Spoon in hand, dinner cooking on the stove, I braced myself against the counter with my free fingers as grief filled me and tears rolled down my cheeks.
Only moments before I had been laughing and singing along to Winter Solstice chants and songs.
So where did this grief come from?
What were the tears all about anyway?
The song the Christians and the Pagans was playing (I freaking love this song), and when the line
“Amber's uncle saw how Amber looked like Tim and like her father.
He thought about his brother, how they hadn't spoken in a year,
He thought he'd call him up and say, "It's Christmas, and your daughter's here."
Suddenly the loss of my Father was palpable. It’s been 11 Christmases without my Dad, yet the simple lyrics to a song brought my grief in like a punch in the gut.
And this is how it works. Grief arrives suddenly and without warning.
My husband who had his back to me as I cried was now staring at me as I wiped tears from my face.
“Did the song get you?” he asked.
(He knows me really well)
I told him how much I was missing my Dad. And after a couple good sobs the grief passed. Not gone completely, but the wave had crashed and begun to eb.
I lit a candle on my altar and spoke to my Dad as I did it.
The holiday season is full of feelings. Most of us are not living the Hallmark dream, and our families, relationships and expectations are complex. Many of us have experienced losses that during this time of year can often be spotlighted as traditions are recalled and the ghost of Christmas past comes for a visit.
If you too are finding yourself in moments of grief waves, know you are not alone, that this like all feelings will flow and eb and perhaps flow once more.
Give yourself some space to honor your experience whatever it might be.
Whether it is with ritual, a whispered prayer, a hug, thoughts scribbled in your journal or an intentional moment of connection or solitude. Part of tending to your sacred Self is letting your experience flow.
On this Solstice eve, I invite you to take some moments in the quiet and the dark to feel your feelings whatever they may be. (If you are following along on our calendar this is the day to take a bath or make tea with your moon water, making these moments the perfect time to drop in deeper with you).
I am sending you all love and blessings on the longest night and always.
Emily Morrison MA, MFT