Libby Baker Sweiger

Weaver of Everyday Tales

Christmas: Sadness Mixed With Joy

Christmas is a time of great joy.

“For unto us born a Savior who is Christ the Lord.

It is also a time of sorrow. For many people Christmas, Thanksgiving, holiday celebrations can overwhelm them with a sense of loss for those who aren’t there to celebrate with them. They have loved ones who have gone on before them in death, have left in divorce, have died prematurely before knowing a Christmas, or perhaps only knew one. People who lose children are very susceptible to the blues I think, being one of them. So how to handle the holiday blues before they handle you?

Sometimes you can’t. Sometimes you just have to let yourself experience them. But, fight going too low. The healthy hurting of a partly broken holiday heart is manageable. Full blown depression, no matter the time of year requires treatment immediately.

Well I’m writing in the abstract, let me just say, I’m having a bit of trouble this year. I’m missing my little girl and little boy who have unfortunately and unnaturally gone ahead of me. And as for the daughter I delightfully got to raise, it’s not looking as though she will be coming home for Christmas. Nor is my dad coming up.

So right now I am telling myself to snap out of it which is kind of a joke in our family. We are all so sympathetic and empathetic it’s rather the opposite of the way we relate to each other, but we’re fond of saying it to ourselves!

And I’m counting my blessings. I’m so thankful Mike came through his recent surgery so well. And I’m taking the focus off of myself and focusing on others and my Christmas projects, like Christmas cards and decorating and normal things like work.

And I’m praying for my friends to be well for Christmas. Friends who have much more challenging lives that I. Like Heather Siebens who lives in constant pain and Mary Triviski who has recurrent viral Meningitis.

And I am thanking God for the fullness of my life. The new client whose project I start in two days. And the Birthday party we’re having for dad in our party room on the 29th of December that will gather the whole family at last. I am the hub of party planning central.

So now I am smiling. Writing always makes me happy and I found this great quote about the bittersweet emotions surrounding Christmas:

β€œIn this way Penelope’s happy and sad feelings got all mixed up together, until they were not unlike one of those delicious cookies they have nowadays, the ones with a flat circle of sugary cream sandwiched between two chocolate-flavored wafers. In her heart she felt a soft, hidden core of sweet melancholy nestled inside crisp outer layers of joy, and if that is not the very sensation most people feel at some point or other during the holidays, then one would be hard pressed to say what is.”
― Maryrose Wood

Mike & I Thanksgiving πŸ™‚

I wish all of you a very Happy Holiday Season, whatever you celebrate and a very Merry Christmas too! Here is a picture of Mike and I taken at his cousin Becky’s at Thanksgiving. Isn’t he looking well? Love to you all! Libby

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13 thoughts on “Christmas: Sadness Mixed With Joy

  1. I’ve found that whenever I want to mourn over the holidays, I ask myself, truly, what am I mourning for? Is where they are worse than where they would be if they were with me? Those that have passed are living with no pain, and I believe their spirit is soaring free. I can’t begrudge them that. Those that are too busy to stop by are living full and happy lives, stretching out their wings into new experiences, and so I can’t begrudge them that either.

    In wishing they were with me instead of where they are, I’m just feeling sorry for myself for being without them. So I give thanks that they are where they are and shift my focus to what I do have. A bright, wonderful holiday ahead of me. An entire planet of people to share it with. Look for opportunities. Instead of eating at home, alone, eat at a soup kitchen. Instead of moping in an empty house, go up to the school and volunteer. The opportunities are there. You just have to look for them πŸ™‚

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  2. Thank you for your comment Renee. More great tips for taking the emphasis off self and putting them on others which takes one away from any sadness one is feeling. I do have a few friends who’ve lost children however and we take opportunities like these to pray for each other because there is something very bittersweet about the holidays. Bless you and thank you for your cheerful, snap out of it feedback. So needed! πŸ™‚

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  3. I think this is a good moment of reflection that you allow yourself. Too many people judge us, we don’t need to judge ourselves for what we feel. You strike a good balance between acknowledgement/acceptance and not wallowing. As always, thanks for sharing.

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  4. Many blessings to you Lynoth! I hope your holiday season is most blessed. One of the reasons I wrote this was to see if it struck a chord with some people. I’m wondering if they are struggling a bit themselves. On the other hand, each day is a joyous new adventure and I am privileged to be a part of it and to have friends like you!

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  5. Libby that was extra nice of you to share something so intimate. I will remind you that I will be here for you anytime, I don’t like to go out of town so unless I’m at the cabin ( no internet ) you can pretty much get hold of me the same day.
    I have a friend that missing her mom at the holidays, I told her to embrace those feelings of loss an the memories. I know some say to hide them or do something to take your mind away, but I believe those feelings have their roots in love, and instead of being sad, we should rejoice in knowing we were blessed to have them with us for a while, and cherish the memories. Thoughts of passed loved ones that suddenly burst on the scene may be just what you need if you don’t see them as a negative. All the best, and love to you my sister in Christ, and many ,many blessings to come – Tommy

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    • I will always treasure this insight Tom…these feelings have their roots in love and we rejoice in knowing we were blessed to have them with us for a while. Very beautiful and from a beautiful soul like yours, thank you! Love in Jesus, Libby

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  6. I’ve got a P.S. I have lived so long that losses of loved ones is more than I can count, even if I take my shoes off. From my sister in my eighth year to my best friend Jack a couple of years ago (died of frozen lungs while in a coma) and I keep them close, it hurts sometimes and sometimes fills my heart with joy. I think it’s because it reminds me that I cared for them so deeply. Life is joy and pain, so which ever type of feeling comes I hold on, for those moments they become alive in my mind. some say they are said because they will never see them again, but , I see them again and again. How could I not be happy about that? Did I ever tell you that some say I talk too much ?

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  7. You don’t talk too much at all Tom. You talk just the right amount. And you say the perfect thing. Deep feeling cuts both ways, sadness and joy exist side by side because we are human…someday we will have only rejoicing when we see Jesus and all of our dear loved ones again and that is our sure and certain hope! Thanks for the blessed reminder Tom, dear friend and brother!

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  8. Pingback: Family Makes You Believe That Miracles Can Happen | this man's journey

  9. Hi sweet Libby. I’ve missed you and so glad I can come here to catch up on your life. So glad Mike is doing well. I’m so sorry you’re having a hard time with missing your babies. May God’s sweet love surround you.

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  10. Thank you dear. By now I have realized that my brain chemistry is acting up a bit and I’m having a flare up of that old nemesis: bi-polar disorder. Fighting hard some days to keep my equilibrium and avoid the dreaded hospital. Other days remembering to let go and let God carry me through as I must do. Thank you for your sweet comment. His love is surrounding me. Bless and keep you too dear Mimi.

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  11. Dear Libby, I quoted this verse earlier tonight — a fitting message for these days of expectation, looking forward:

    “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” ~ Romans 15: 13

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  12. Hope abounds when our eyes are fixed on Him. That is for sure, Mark. Our eyesight gets cloudy when we are deep in depression. Thankfully I am coming out of it now and feeling like my old self! Thank you so much for your encouragement!

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