Christmas Letters and Funeral Parlors

Jan 8, 2024

I am back to work today after a Christmas break and trying to get my head around getting back to the story I am working on. But before I do I feel the need to write a blog entry and unload a bit. The two topics in my title have been on my mind and in my heart for the last few days and weeks. Firstly a Christmas letter. Of course I could write a letter to inform friends and family of our past year and fill it with many positive things and proud accomplishments. I could sugar coat and focus on the good stuff. But I could compose a letter bursting with sorrows and failures and stuff that happened that is just plain shitty. I seriously believe we all could present both sides of the days and months of the year that has just passed and I completely understand why most choose the “look at the wonderful year we’ve had’ approach. Now I am very thankful for the many blessings I have been given this year but marriage and engagement breakups, family estrangements, worry and struggle have been part of that year too. This brings me to the second topic in the title. Two days after Christmas a family in our community suffered a huge loss with the sudden death of a husband, father , grandfather and a legend in his own right. I like hundreds and possibly thousands of others stood in long lines to offer our condolences to his wife , five kids, fifteen grandchildren, ten siblings , sister and brother in laws, nephews and nieces. It has been said that his viewing and his funeral which filled the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception was possibly Saint John’s largest funeral in memory. I am not sure how my mind is connecting these two topics but both leave me thinking deeply about so many things. The edited Christmas letter in no way faces the challenges family life throws us. The challenges are real as is the raw emotion when a death occurs and family must stand together and receive the many people whom their loved one touched during their time walking this earth. I am in tears now and not quite sure where this discussion is leading except to say, Write the real Christmas letter, claim the real challenges and instead of being selective about what you write, be mindful of how you live . None of us are perfect but all of us are trying our best to live this life and leave a legacy of love.


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