We did a candle lighting ceremony in David's memory:
"As we light these five candles in honor of you, we light one for our grief, one for our courage, one for our memories, one for our love, and one for our hope.
1. This candle represents our grief. The pain of losing you is intense. It reminds us of the depth of our love for you.
2. This candle represents our courage- to confront our sorrow, to comfort each other, and to change our lives.
3. This candle is in your memory- the times we laughed, the times we cried, the times we were angry with each other, the silly things you did, and the caring and joy you gave us.
4. This candle is the light of love. As we enter this holiday season, day by day we cherish the special place in our hearts that will always be reserved for you. We thank you for the gift your living brought to each of us.
5. And this candle is the light of hope. It reminds us of love and memories of you that are ours forever. May the glow of the flame be our source of hopefulness now and forever. We love you, David."
This is the first time David has not been with his family for Christmas and he is greatly missed. We miss his love of the season, the sweet way he gave gifts, and his appreciation of food! He was a really special person to have around.
A gift this Christmas is the ability to be happy, while also being sad. There were times when I didn't know or understand how that day could ever come.
I am so sad that David is not here with us this Christmas. I am sad that I can't call him to talk or make plans together. I am sad that I have to live the rest of my life here without him.
I am also happy. I am happy to be with my family. I am happy that we can still laugh together. I am thankful for them.
I feel peace knowing that David is at peace. I feel hope when I imagine his new reality.
I know for certain that David's spirit lives in each of those whom he loved. His memory lives through us, and that is most comforting.
One of my favorite poems is written by EE Cummings,
"I Carry your Heart."
I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart)
I am never without it (anywhere I go you go, my dear;
and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling)
I fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet)
I want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;
which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)
I love the message in this poem. The idea that unconditional love is the dance and exchange of two hearts, something that can never go away. I feel this for David, and now carry him on in my heart.
Merry Christmas to you, David, I love you.
Merry Christmas to you all! Sending my love to you and your families in this very special time of year. God Bless!