Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could…Tomorrow is a new day.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
December can sometimes be a season of feeling blindsided. We go about our days. We go through routines and out of nowhere we hear a carol that brings us to our knees, a commercial that brings an endless flowing of tears. In moments like these it’s hard not to feel that instead celebrating these days, we need to steel ourselves against it. It’s hard not to feel the weight of all of Advent’s waiting.
Some days it can be hard to just feel anything at all.
Often it can feel as though our culture doesn’t allow much space for our grieving. I’ve found that folks around me talk too much or don’t appear to want to engage at all. Initially support surrounds us and then seems to drift away. We are a fast-paced people and loss is an uncomfortable companion.
Often it can feel like we are better off staying in our heads and not in our hearts. In that way, grief can bring many questions: “When” and “where” memories circle back time and time and time again to “how”? And sometimes tenderly we come to the places in our grief of “why”? And this “why” can leave us with a myriad of feelings. Of despair and anger, of regrets and wishes for something different.
And so we go through. We get through. We somehow make our way through. Minutes into hours, hours into days. We make our way through doing the best we can.
It feels important for us to remind one another about the grace of this season. When we recognize the feeling of steeling our way through our days, perhaps it’s time to take a deep breath, roll our shoulders forward and backward and allow ourselves to let go.
Indiana folk singer, Carrie Newcomer sings about this notion: Do your best, then say “Amen.” It’s our best blessing for one another in these tender days. When we finish up and are laying our heads down on our pillows, try acknowledging this blessing for yourself. Do your best, then say `amen.’ We did our best this day and it is plenty to pray over. We did our best, and may there be grace enough to then say, “Amen.”
Working in Family Experience at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Lesley is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. She and her partner, Linda Ellis are raising their two sons, Brogan (now a freshman at Guilford College) and Sam at sophomore at DHS in Decatur, GA.