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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


for this Christmas

give yourself


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


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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8 Kommentare

Scripture for last Sunday was about letting your light shine. It’s OK to do just as the poem said. I find that the light that comes out from him is now brighter than ever, even at Christmas. Thank you for this beautiful poem.

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JoAnn Visaretis
JoAnn Visaretis
15. Dez. 2022

Beautiful, John.. I lost my only son, 3 years ago. This poem really speaks about the grief I feel, especially during the holidays. Thank you for this wonderful gift. JoAnn

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Linda Herron
Linda Herron
15. Dez. 2022

Beautiful, John ❤️‍🩹 It's a wonderful reminder especially during holidays. Thank you.

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Blessings upon you, John. Your willingness to be vulnerable is the gift you offer at Christmas .... and year round. Whether we're grieving or not, this poem offers me (and any of us) the opportunity to have my heart (our hearts) broken open to a wider love than I (we) thought possible. I wish you well on your journey and in your creative expression.



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Thank you John.

My church and other churches have a Blue Christmas Service for people who are grieving or for any reason have difficulty with the holidays.

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