Christmas has a way of jerking those tears right out of us doesn’t it? It’s a time where the pressure to be happy is really on – HO HO HO! Jeepers. It’s a cheer fest, that’s for sure. One that would make the calmest people want to gouge their own eyes out if they are also trying to cope with feeling of loss and loneliness. Feelings that don’t “match” with how we are ‘supposed’ to feel Christmas.
Maybe you have a friend or family member who is dreading it. Maybe you are dreading it.
Maybe you, like a lot of people, are facing into Christmas as a separated parent. How can you be sparkly and happy when you feel like you’re on the floor, struggling to find order in the debris of a broken relationship? Everything around us tells us that family is king, happiness rules and life is one big gift-wrapped bundle of glittery joy! It’s a cheerfest – that’s for sure! And really, MUST they keep playing Mariah Carey???
How quietly it’s slipping by, unbelievably we’re nearly half way through. And still, not much has been said. Same as every year. Is it par for the course? Because child loss is one of the many things we don’t talk about – that we “bear” in stoic silence and secret, private agony. One would think, given the outpouring of concern for women and their babies in recent years that there would have been more said this month. Or maybe it’s because so much has already been said – maybe there is a collective compassion fatigue? Are we just exhausted from it? Because loss is exhausting, there’s no doubt about that. Or maybe there are just too many other things going on this month – it certainly has been busy in the media.
It’s a question that’s bothering parents all over Ireland today. Probably even more so this year as it falls on a Friday. Kids are coming home from school asking if they can go out, can they drink, can they drink at home? C’mon just the one?? You’re so boring… Everyone else has cooler parents… Can they have their friends over for a couple of cans – nothing too heavy, no spirits in fairness…
Some people woke up this morning feeling dark, empty, hopeless. Maybe they didn’t sleep, again. They feel desperate, crazy even, from lack of sleep. Not being able to think straight, not even knowing that they’re not thinking straight. Some people today can see no value, no point in being alive. There is no joy, not even peace. A quiet mind would be enough. But how to get that…
So, the exams are over and you’re thinking “Yay! Stress? Nah – done, distant memory, ‘be grand now!”
And it is done for some, but for others a new and unexpected stress has already kicked in. It’s a little trickier than pre-exam stress, because the people around you might assume all students are now the embodiment of Zen and relaxation, because technically the exams are over.