Many feel the burden of loss during the holidays

For most, the holiday season is considered to be the happiest time of the year because of all the poofy snow, toasty fires and the sweet hot chocolate.

More importantly, it’s a time to reflect and to embrace the ones closest to you at joyful gatherings.

However, despite the nice nuances of the holidays, there is something that many families around the world  silently relate to. In some cases, it’s sad to say that a family member will always be missing from the dinner table.

For some people, such as myself, who have had a family member pass away, you cannot help but imagine how much better the holidays would be if the particular family member was still present. Just as you’re in the middle of your day dream, reality suddenly kicks back in. Everyone’s family situation is unique. But from a universal stand point, the fact that someone is missing just twists the mind.

Just think about all of the parents whose son or daughter recently lost their lives fighting in a war.

What about the people who lost a loved one after the devasting 9/11 terrorist attack?

Every holiday from then on in will never be the same.

Since this can be a lonely and stressful time, you may want to go back to the regular routine of school or work.

You just want  to have a sense of normality again.

Of course, adding on to this post holiday anxiety is having someone telling you how great their holiday was when yours was so sensitive and difficult.

So, considering the Sandy Hook tragedy and the effects of the storm in the Philippines this year, one might stop and think about how many people are going through hardship or adversity even during a  time that is supposed to be joyful. Clearly, holidays are certainly not just about the gifts or even religion, but they’re about being grateful for what you have, especially the people around you.

If I could have one Christmas wish, it would be to have my father alive again.