On the 2nd Day of Christmas, My True Love gave to Me:

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​…coping is not an easy thing.

The last two days of reflections and meditations from the Advent/Christmas book both had to do with death and our reactions to death.

I must admit, I’m not a big fan of death. I’ve always had emotional issues with it, and while my faith in G-d and eternal life with Jesus is strong, I can’t help but feel an emptiness of what might come. It’s scary.

I’ve been devastated when some loved ones have died. I think the ones that hurt the most are the ones that come out of the blue. My father was ill before he died, and it was still sad and upsetting and I feel his loss today, but when my mother died suddenly eighteen months later, I was devastated. I cried every day. The only reason I’m not crying every day since the death of my  mother in law in June I’m sure is because of my anti-anxiety meds. I feel her loss deeply.

In the last two days, I’ve lost two of the most significant inspirations in my life: George Michael and Carrie Fisher. They come at the end of a year that saw so many iconic, influential, important to my life and th lives of others die, sudden and out of the blue.

Growing up, George Michael was part of the second British invasion that I was fortunate enough to witness in the 80s during my high school and college years. it was the beginning of a lot of self-awareness on my part, much of which I didn’t become really aware of until recently. His stepping into who he was and holding that position proudly said it all. His talent and his kindness were not easily matched. We are reading stories this week of his philanthropy that no one knew about, donating money, working in a homeless shelter, helping in his quiet way, the way we’re all supposed to do it, without a big shining spotlight. I will always be a fan.

Carrie Fisher was so much: a bridge from the old, glamorous Hollywood that my mother remembered with her not only famous, but iconic parents, Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher. She was a princess to many of us that saw Star Wars for the first time, not knowing what to expect, but her princess-ness was not with wands or sceptors, tiaras or gowns. She was a leader, she was strong, she was independent, and she was all those things in her real life, her non Leia life. She inspired me with her honesty, most recently chastising someone on Twitter for debating whether or not she aged gracefully. Everything about Carrie Fisher was graceful and exuberant in her own way of being exuberant. She had a wonderful sense of humor and a laugh that was infectious. She inspired me as a strong woman, a woman who spoke her mind regardless of the reaction of others, her love and loyalty to her family and close friends, her mental health honesty and struggle and what she still overcame and struggled to overcome, and of course, her writing. As a fellow writer, I saw so much of her wit and talent, and I try to emulate that.

Neither of them were family, but they are loved and missed as family. There is a pain in my heart for them; for me. They’re fine, wherever they are now, but I mourn and try to figure out how to do better using their influence as a guide.

“…​the news that arises from the mystery of the resurrection, the news that love and life are stronger than death.”

“…To be complete, joy must be shared.”

From Daily Reflections for Advent & Christmas: Waiting in Joyful Hope 2016-17 by Bishop Robert F. Morneau

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