(I found this card after I wrote the post– Cafe Press.)
For the last couple of decades I’ve been writing a Yuletide letter to stick in with our Christmas cards, a missive that generally includes any big family news along with some philosophical musings on something…anything really…that happened during the year.
And up to now I’ve never been one to shy away from topics that some might consider questionable holiday fare (i.e. working with the dying, menopause, the incredible stench of alligator pits) but this year I’m up against the news of Cam’s recent suicide and it’s the first time a family event has given me pause. Partly because the announcement needs to be handled delicately out of respect for the hubster’s family, but also because suicide is a socially taboo topic that’s never supposed to be mentioned at all, even in the off-season. So how exactly are people going to react to my breaking that taboo in the heart of a major holiday devoted to joy and good cheer?
I admit, I just don’t know. And I feel kinda caught between a rock and a hard place because, realistically, what could I say instead? I mean, what exactly is the etiquette for glossing over a piece of information that catastrophic?
Hey there! We went kayaking in numerous spectacular places this year and are delighted to share that Beloved Daughter got married in June! We couldn’t be happier.* Happy holidays all!
*(Accept for that one loss in September of course, but really. We don’t want to bum you guys out with THAT!)
Yuck. I don’t think so.
The more I think about it the more it seems like I should probably just trust in people’s basic humanity…maybe have some faith that everybody’s caring and compassion will rise up and trump this horrible, hurtful, isolating taboo. I’d love for that to be what this season is truly about…something big enough, loving enough, and resilient enough to wrap its arms around both the joy and sorrow of our lives. Both those who are hopeful in any given year as well as those whose hearts have been broken.
It doesn’t seem like the holidays should have to be an either/or thing, does it?