Thursday, December 19, 2013

A widow for Christmas

Imagine spending the holidays without your spouse. The grief gets doubled when you have young children. And all they want is mommy or daddy back. For things to be normal and happy—they were they were before the death of their parent.

It will be the 4th Christmas my sister and her three boys spend without him. Husband and father are no longer words in their daily lexicon. The boys don’t get dad to play Santa again. My sister doesn’t get a special kiss under the mistletoe. This is their new normal. Deep down the family that surrounds her—on both sides--feel awkward and helpless. We know nothing of being single against our will. We’ll smile and pass out gifts, secretly praying that we could win the lottery and make life smoother as she struggles with day care and school and holiday things. Heck, we wish we could win the lottery to make our own lives smoother. The only thing we can do now, is struggle alongside of her.

I once interviewed a man who was 101 years old. Some think of age as a blessing, others a curse. He thought of it in terms of the people he missed. I said to the old man: “If you stood before God and could ask one question, what would it be?” Without hesitating he said: “I would ask why did He allow me to find two women I loved so much only to take them both away. Why did you do that God?” It has been over decade since I spoke to the old man. I believe he now has his answer.

I don’t know why bad things happen to good people. I don’t know why my sister has to be alone at Christmas again. It’s not fair. I don’t have the answer. I can only say to her:  You are valued and beautiful and if you find love again, he will be the luckiest man on the planet.

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