Kara's Column > An Experiment in Holidaze
"Death will always
re-write your address book
So this year, when family or friends can't seem to acknowledge your FULL self -- that is, the you who is a parent whose child has died, maybe also a parent to other living children, an artist, or student, a wife or partner, a cook or baker, a bellydancer or yoga devotee -- when they seek to exclude the parts of you that make them uncomfortable, I say turn around and go home!!
Instead of trying to convince everyone around you that it is NORMAL to both feel moments of joy AND moments of grief during the holidays no matter how long ago it was that your child died -- instead of doing that, go home and take care of YOU!
We spend our lives trying to make peace, make nice, make up the difference, make people understand. These are all things that might be okay when compared to other options like violence and war. But for these holidaze, just for this year, you have my full permission to not be the peace maker for a few days! GO HOME AND TAKE CARE OF YOU INSTEAD!
You can make peace, make up, and educate people after the new year! I promise they will still be there -- the tough nuts to crack never leave! So let it go for now and go home to take care of you!
Here are a few ideas for what you can do with your SELF CARE HOLIDAY:
Okay, you get the idea. There is no reason in this crazy season that you should neglect yourself! Take care of you! If you are feeling solid and well cared for, then you will be on good footing for giving to others. But if you are compromised and feeling icky, then there's not much to give out anyway, so why try?! Turn around, go home, and take care of you first!! Fill your cup so it is overflowing with plenty to share!! Don't try passing around an empty cup! That's silly and won't really help anyone!!
Kara L.C. Jones is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University where she honed her poetic craft under the mentorship of Jim Daniels. Her poetic and non-fiction works have been included in publications such as New Works Review, PoetsWest, Real Henna, Shared Heart Foundation's "Meant To Be", LightHearts Publication's "Soul Trek", MISSing Angels Newsletter, American Tanka, Mother Tongue Ink's We'Moon, Honored Babies, Cup of Comfort series, and more. Because she refused to give her grief writing over to the control of outside editors and publishers after the death of her son, she and her husband Hawk founded KotaPress in 1999 as a creative outlet for their expressive artworks. She has been facilitating online and in-person workshops for over 10 year, including sessions offered at the International MISS Conferences, WA State Poets Association Burning Word festivals, and Course Bridge.