“I’ll Be Home for Christmas”

This song gets me every time I hear it.
My eyes well up and my heart hurts.
I quickly change the radio station.

It’s my 3rd Christmas without Mom and only 4 months since Dad died.
Their home of 40 years has been emptied and sold.
Their vacation property is on the market.
His room in the memory care center has a new occupant.

Where is my sense of HOME now?

How about you this year?
Have you lost someone that was HOME to you?
Have you had to sort through, pack up, give away the belongings of someone you loved?
Have you lost a place you called HOME because your parent(s) lived there?
Or maybe because of the memories attached to it?

Do you ever wonder where HOME is for you this Christmas?

I want you to know that you’re not the only one.
You are surrounded by good, loving, grieving adult sons and daughters
who have lost a parent or parental figure.
You are surrounded by good, loving grieving spouses who have lost the sense of home they shared with their beloved.
You are surrounded by good, loving grieving parents who have lost their child and now their home feels empty.

There is that old saying, “Home is where the heart is”.
But what about hearts that have been ransacked with grief?
Hearts that are numb? Sorrowful hearts? Angry or regretful hearts?
Relieved hearts? Exhausted or bewildered hearts?
Hearts that can’t bear the heaviness of it all?

These are the things I reflect upon as I wonder about my sense of home.
I’ve done plenty of work over the years with myself and clients to find an inner HOME.
But now that my parents are gone?
I understand this in a whole new way.
It’s an actual felt sensation in my body.
It’s a knowing that my home is within me.
What used to be Jungian metaphor or symbolic language
has sunk into my heart, belly and bones.

Sometimes I need to call myself HOME.
Sometimes several times a day.
Especially during the holiday season.

How do I do that?
I put my hand on my heart and breathe into it.
I connect.
I let myself belong to nature.
I lean into the love others have for me.

Where is your HOME this holiday?
What helps you?
What has grief taught you about your sense of HOME?

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