Sunday, November 11, 2012

Christmas Trees and Grief and Loss

So I put up my Yule Tree (aka: Christmas Tree) yesterday. Yes, for many this is WAY too early, but not for me. Oh I could say the next 4 weekends are very busy, which is true, but not the whole truth. Really the truth is that I needed to put up my tree and decorations yesterday. It seemed important this year.

What was refreshing was that because I embrace this Pagan Path, it is not weird to "mix the seasons". My fall decorations can indeed stand side by side with my winter decorations. Isn't that like the Wheel of life?

But I digress and that is a blog post for another time!

I needed to put up the Tree this weekend.

This week (November 16th in fact) brings 10 years since I left my ex husband. November 16, 2002, my daughter and I moved into our apartment. November 16, 2002 I was 50 years old and she was 18. November 16, 2002, we stood in our apartment with boxes and breathed a new life into being. November 16, 2002 was the beginning of the release from a bondage of hell for both of us.

But this blog isn't about that day! No, it's about the Tree!

Now, here 10 years later, I am finally able to say that of course our lives weren't all bad! There were lots of good and happy times wrapped in those 30 years I was with this man and 18 years that she was with her father. But unfortunately, the good times don't always out weigh the destructive and often that destructiveness is all intertwined with the happiness. But let's just say, there were happy times.

And they seemed to be wrapped up in the Christmas Tree!

But this isn't really about this 10 year anniversary either.

It is all about the need to put up the Tree at this time, this year; November 10, 2012!

As I was putting up the tree, I flashed back to December 2002. I went to the house (we would not sell it until the next summer) where my husband was still living to divide up the Christmas decorations. I remember (as I do every time I put up a tree), sitting on the floor of the back bedroom turned into "his study" opening the boxes of ornaments and sorting out the ones I would take with me for the tree at my apartment. And I cried. I cried more than at any time I could remember. I cried, well sobbed, as I looked at all the memories laying on the floor in front of me. And I cried, well sobbed, as I realized I would be leaving my beautiful tree because it was too big for the apartment.

My husband came into the room and in his most arrogant and demeaning way said, "Well, if you are this upset about leaving me, then come back home."

"I'm crying because I have to leave my Christmas Tree." I said through the sobs.

Needless to say, he huffed and walked away. I think I held each ornament in my hand; trying so hard to capture all the memories, all the dreams, all the promises that each one of them held. A pile for him and a pile for me. Just a foreshadowing of what was to come as we broke up the only home my children had ever known.

Each year when I put up the tree, I would lovingly place each ornament in just the right place. And I would reflect on the year(s) past and I would dream of what it would be like then next time I put up the tree. I would think about the age my children were and imagine them a year older. I stayed in the past and the future because on most days the present was too hard to live in.

You see this simple tradition of putting up the Christmas tree was a way for me to journey with Grief and Loss and not have to let on that that was the path I was traveling at a time full of love and light. Grieving not only the hard times but grieving the good times that were now past. The loss of the innocence of a child as they gave up Santa Claus, grief over the knowledge that my life was not the love story I had dreamed of, and hope that the dreams each year I wrapped up in a beautiful package and placed under the tree that had not been opened that year, would hopefully be opened the next!

So, this year, a week before this 10 year anniversary of sorts, I needed to put up the Tree! I needed to take out ornaments of old and ornaments of new and not Grieve! Not grieve all those unopened presents, not hang ornaments of Past hurts and loss and not turn on the lights of the future!

No, this year, I was Present! And I didn't even realize it until my walk this morning! It just happened naturally!

It has been a long path: these past 10 years, but oh I am so glad I was on it; so happy I am on it now! And the fact that my Fall and Winter adornments sit and hang side by side, show that I can be in all places at once and it is all the Present! For here in the Present I am safe, I am the Love and the Light, I know that I did the best I could all those 30 years of putting up the Christmas tree, but most of all I know that I embody the Divine Voice!

So, last night as all the Lights in my apartment were off except for the Christmas Tree, I sat amazed at how this tree looks more magickal than any tree I have every had in my lifetime. This Tree is so very special! This tree is no longer about Grief and Loss but about Love and Light!

So may every day be in my life and in the lives of all I encounter.

So mote it be!


  1. love the honesty of your writing sister!!! i will be re-minded of the joy when i decorate my tree!!! ♥

    1. Love you raven spirit song! Blessed be!

  2. I divorced my husband now almost 13 years ago. My ex ruined so many holidays & its been a long road but I can honestly say I enjoy Yule now. Today I start decorating for the Yule holiday season. Like you I've felt an overwhelming almost pushing to decorate now.
    Besides it will be so lovely to have everything up, pretty and twinkling.
    I really enjoyed your story, thank you for sharing
    Letia Stasney