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for grieving hearts at Christmastime


the wounds in our hearts

seem to ache a little deeper

during the holidays


don't feel like you

need to cover your wounded

heart in wrapping paper

this Christmas


you don't have to

tie the corners

of your lips with

garland to force

a smile


you don't have to

keep whistling

"silent night" to keep

people from noticing

your bottom lip is trembling


you don't have to blame

an allergy to nutmeg

for why you are walking

around with tears in your

eyes


for this Christmas

give yourself

permission

to feel whatever you

need to


last night

I was visited

by the ghost

of yuletide Heartbreak


she told me this:


it's okay to not be okay

on Christmas


it's okay to be melancholy

under the mistletoe


it's okay to come apart

while they are caroling


it's okay to trace your scars with your fingers

while others are humming ‘Holy Night’


it's okay to miss the presence of your beloved

amid the sound of opening presents


it's okay, my love,

to hurt during the holidays


don't stuff your stockings

with your suffering


don't hide your healing

during the holidays


give yourself the gift

of being authentic to yourself


it's okay to not be okay

during Christmas


it's okay to let the broken

pieces inside of you

be the only jingle bells you

hear


because, my love, because,


it means you are still fighting

to stay alive

and I can't think of anything

more to celebrate than that


~ john roedel




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