A Holiday Lamentation

The holiday season can be particularly difficult for those who have lost a loved one.

A Holiday Lamentation

Deborah Beach Giordano
© November 30, 2010

O sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
~ Psalm 96

Sing a new song,
says the psalmist —
easier said
than done;
for now is not
the time
or the place
for me to sing. 

No cheery phrases
or lilting tunes
will come from my mouth —
only stifled sobs;
for I have been robbed
of words,
just as my heart
was robbed
when the one I loved
was taken from me.

In this season
of celebration,
surrounded
by giggling children,
proud parents,
doe-eyed couples,
doting grandparents,
I stand in silence.

Glittering lights
shine from each doorstep,
good wishes arrive
from every corner:
May your days
be merry
and bright!

I clench my teeth
and bite my lip
lest I begin to cry
amid the laughter,
the smiles
and gladsome tidings
of the crowds
of joy-filled souls.

I see them
as they pass by,
leaving me
alone
and lonely,
sad
and sorry;

sorry
for myself,
for the persistent,
painful ache
I’ve come to know
so well —
and sorry
for those
who stroll
together
in foolish
disregard
of the treasure
in their midst;
unaware
that happiness
is fragile:

it can be shattered
in an instant
and disappear
leaving
only broken dreams
behind.

I want to shout
a warning —
to awaken
the innocent,
the ignorant,
the thoughtless,
the naive;

Hear me out,
and listen well:
all that is
shall pass away.

Cherish one another,
give thanks
for the ones you love;
be kinder
than you need to be;
speak gently,
and always tenderly
say goodbye

for the time will come —
without warning —
when it will be
the last thing
you will say.

Goodbye
in its truest sense:
God be with you
and keep you
until we meet again,
and my fractured soul
is made whole,
and my aching heart
is healed.

Where pain will be no more,
suffering and sadness
will be no more.

And so I sing,
as the psalmist said:
a song of lived experience;
a prayer of thanksgiving
for the love
I have known,
for the Promise
yet to come,
and a call to gratitude.

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About inklingscommunity

I am a struggling Christian, committed pacifist, near-obsessive recycler, incurable animal lover, inveterate tree-hugger; a nature mystic, a socialized introvert, an advocate for the vulnerable, an opponent of exploiters.
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