I started this blog to let my friends know that I was about to publish a book. After some forty-two blog entries, most of which were not about my book, I’ve decided to return to it. Because it’s close to Christmas. And because I want to convey, to those who have read the book (so that they will recall), and to those who have not, what my son Eddie taught me.
From The Messenger: The Improbable Story of a Grieving Mother and a Spirit Guide:
CHRISTMAS IS CRUEL. It comes three months after Eddie’s death. It will be here in a week. Harold (my ex-husband) calls to discuss Christmas for the girls, who will be home for the holidays.
“It should be as normal as possible,” he is saying. “We ought to have dinner here, with a tree and decorations.”
“A tree?” I scream. This is unbelievable. “A tree?” I lose it. I am crying and angry. “Are you crazy?” The pain shoots out of my voice. “There will be no more Christmases. Not in this lifetime. I can’t believe you’re thinking about decorations!” I scream at him. And I say it again: “Are you crazy?”
The thought of Christmas is like a kick in the stomach: a table with no place for Eddie. No gifts for Eddie. Christmas is a fresh, new brand of pain. God saw to that. The little glimmer of light from my encounter with Reverend Brown goes out, extinguished by decorations.
Harold starts to say something when I hear a loud crash in the hallway.
“Wait,” I say. “I heard a noise in the hallway.”
“Go look, he says, “I’ll stay on the line.”
There is nothing in the hallway. I open the coat closet. Several boxes have fallen from the shelf onto the floor. Last year’s Christmas decorations. There aren’t many boxes, just a few: a single person’s Christmas decorations. I open one box of glass ornaments, then another. Nothing is broken.
“I hear you, Eddie,” I whisper, “I hear you.”
I am shaking when I return to the phone. Harold tries to rationalize what has happened. Rumbling trucks going by on my downtown street must have shaken the boxes off the shelf, he tells me.
“Then why has nothing else fallen?” I say.
We will have a tree.
That was the beginning of my journey. That first Christmas was a disaster, even with the tree. But, in the years that followed, I kept stringing lights and decorating, mostly for my daughters. Eventually, I came to do it because I realized that I had to add light to my corner of the world. Things are happening these days that give rise to darkness and fear, but I will not dwell there. I used to live there, and I’m not going back. Now I have a choice. I choose to turn toward the light, and to add to it, if I can. Maybe that was what Eddie was leading me to, all those years ago.
I love this quote by Richard Attenborough. It has been associated with Mother Teresa, but I know people to whom this could easily apply. I have seen their light and healing spirits.
“There is a LIGHT in this world. A healing spirit more powerful than any darkness we may encounter. We sometime lose sight of this force when there is suffering, and too much pain. Then suddenly, the spirit will emerge through the lives of ordinary people who hear a call and answer in extraordinary ways.”
My best wishes to those who are celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or the Winter Solstice.
Read: The Messenger: The Improbable Story of a Grieving Mother and a Spirit Guide by Helen Delaney. It is available at http://www.Amazon.com. It might be the perfect Christmas present for someone who needs a little hope.