“The body blow of wishing”


I really like Kirsty Strickland, one of Scots media’s more interesting columnists: she’s funny on Twitter, incisive on politics and occasionally devastating on Medium.

Here, she writes about how grief is part of Christmas for so many people.

Because for all the joy that Christmas can bring, its braying decadence and opulence can also provoke harsher, sharper feelings — separately and intertwined with one another — like the scalding heat of freezing fingers.

One of those is certainly grief. It’s a place where your happy memories and treasured times with a departed loved one collide with the body blow of wishing beyond anything else that they were still here.

I love the imagery in her post, grief as a wound that “will fade over time to a silvery scar.” She’s writing about death and loss here, but of course death isn’t the only kind of loss. Some of us will be experiencing Christmas alone after years of family life, or with parents who no longer remember who we are, or with diagnoses predicting horrors in the days and months to come.

Our streets will be still on Christmas Day and all the ordinariness of life will grind to a halt. This gives us time to think and to remember; to rejoice and, yes even to grieve.

As Strickland notes, if you’re struggling and need somebody to talk to then the Samaritans are available 24/7 by calling 116 123 or emailing jo@samaritans.org.