Sadness in times of Merry

Two months ago, someone really close to me tried to commit suicide. Two days ago, they tried again. It is said that you can’t die of a broken heart, but here’s the thing: your soul can. Especially if your heart isn’t broken, but smashed, shattered and then walked all over. It is said that more people don’t grow depressed around Christmas. But here’s the thing: it is felt more deeply. In a time when people are reaching out, coming together, and loving freely? Loneliness is an object, more so than a feeling. There lies great sadness in times of merry.

For most of a series like this, your natural reaction is to be happy, chipper. But quite frankly, two days ago, I got a bit of a blow.

Around this time of year, people want to look at the good. What they’ve got, how they’ve grown, how they’re still there. It doesn’t leave too much space for those who have lost, who feel they’re stuck. For those who aren’t still there, for those who are fighting to stay, or to want to stay.

The holidays is a time of reflection. But all too often, reflection can turn sour. Going over conversations in ones head will lead to self-doubt on the best of many people’s days. Stress to see family (because, while they’re family, they’re also an awful lot to live up to) can turn bad.

People may go to a home that doesn’t feel like it anymore. Maybe the people there can’t accept you as you are, maybe a tragedy has struck and taken that feeling away. Maybe life just happened, and contact was lost, distance slowly crept in.

The New Year is, for many, a time to look forward to. A moment where resolutions can be made and plans get their final fixings. Resolutions not followed through and plans not executed, what do we make of those? Where does this hope for the future, this fixation on what’s to come, what’s to celebrate, what’s to love, leave the present? Leave those lost, those missing, those wanting?

The holidays can be an escape from reality. It is, at least, for many. Today, however, on my last working day before the Christmas break begins? I’m thinking of those who want to escape from it.

-Saar