Is it true that more people pass away during the holiday season than any other time of year? According to researchers, studies have shown that there is an increase in mortality caused by natural death. After an analysis of millions of death certificates, there seems to be a 3-9 percent increase around the season that should be jolly.
Individuals are exposed to weather changes, stress and tend to be less cautious when it comes to dietary restrictions and alcohol consumption. Therefore, the next question raised; do many just mentally give up during the holidays? Is it because they may not have the financial means or the people in their lives that they want to celebrate with?
Regardless of how lucky I should be, I do shed tears on occasion due to the loss of many family and friends that are no longer with me while staring at my Christmas tree or watching a holiday tear-jerker on the tube every year.
I cry for my own childhood lost and too many packages that I could not count under my family tree. I cry for my own children when they were young who couldn’t wait to sprinkle oatmeal food sparkled with glitter outside so the reindeer could find their way to our home at night. I long for the seats at my dining room to be occupied next to the place cards of my mother, father and all the ones that were invited for the holiday feasts of the past but only appear as ghosts in my memory today. I cry for those holiday celebrations that offered smiles, laughter, friendship, hugs, kisses and the feeling of not having a care in the world!
My holidays have changed over the years and maybe yours have too. But with time I have learned to just be grateful for past holidays that have been wonderful and glad to have that memory. I have learned to be grateful for my tree, lights and magical ornaments without the mountain of boxes from childhood or even my own children’s. toys.
I have learned to love those who are here today and create new memories for the future. I have learned to let my daughter cook and create her own place cards instead.
I am creating new traditions and activities; maybe a choice to give instead of getting such as volunteering musical skills at a church or retirement home, crafting a scrapbook or watercolor canvas that someone today will really appreciate and taking a co-worker that doesn’t expect an invitation to lunch or dinner.
Just Sunday, I attended the children’s pageant at church of those students who are in my first grade class. So many hugs I received in return for attending their performance was worth more than any gifts under my tree.
Though many of our loved ones have passed on and are sorely missed, I do not think they expect us to drown in misery because they are gone but want the love and gifts they gave us, especially during the holiday season, to be transformed into happiness rather than pain for others to experience and enjoy.
You would be surprised who needs that hug from you now!