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“Open your arms to life! Let it strut into your heart in all its messy glory!”
 
–Deborah Wiles

The Holiday Club

 

All of us want to be accepted by our peers.

We seek out groups we want to be part of

And hope to become absorbed into their consortium

As one of them.

 

But there is one club that none of us wants to join.

It’s the organization of grievers

Who are mourning the losses of their loved ones,

Especially during the Holidays.

 

Nobody wants to belong to this club,

But like it or not, we all will at some point in time.

We may try to skip our turn as members,

But it’s futile to attempt to avoid it.

 

There is some comfort among club members

Because everyone “gets it.”

We understand what it’s like to lose your loved one

And the raw grief that enshrouds your being.

 

We don’t recite the meaningless platitudes that outsiders use,

Thinking they are helping us “get over” it.

Or saying our loved one is in a better place now,

And we were lucky we had them as long as we did.

 

 

 

Members of this club know there is nothing

That can make our sorrow less intense.

They bear witness to our pain and sometimes say nothing.

Rather, they just sit with us and understand.

 

They don’t compare our grief to their own

To see whose is worse or harder to accept.

All grief is valid, and there is no timeline

For how long one is allowed to grieve.

 

There is comfort in being in the company

Of other club members, no matter who they are grieving.

We have all loved and lost a vital part of ourselves

And can empathize and relate to what others are experiencing.

 

The holidays seem to intensify those feelings of loss.

We may begrudgingly do some minimal decorating for the season,

But it will never be the same as it used to be.

Our fond memories of times past will have to soothe us for now.

 

 

Janie

 

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