Ritual of Remembrance
It’s Christmas Eve, 1998. I’m sitting in a chair in our living room, facing our stereo speakers. Tears stream down my face. I’m listening to the annual live broadcast from King’s College in Cambridge, England. A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols.
My young adult son walks into the living room, surprised to see me weeping freely. He asks if I’m OK. I manage to blurt out my fear that I may never see my mother again.
Several weeks earlier I received news that Mother suffered a stroke the weekend following Thanksgiving. Not the kind that’s easily reversed. Not massive, yet it took her down. She’s still in the hospital, not making much progress. On top of that, she has developed pneumonia.
I weep for the beauty of the music and the knowledge that Mother may not make it. I weep for remorse and regrets about not connecting with her earlier in my life. I weep for myself and the huge gaping hole in me that’s shaped like a mother but doesn’t yet contain that or its equivalent.
Every Christmas Eve I do whatever I can to listen to the King’s College choir. A box of tissues is close at hand. That’s my plan for this Christmas Eve. A beautiful, moving ritual of remembrance, gratitude and grief.
Do you have rituals of remembrance for this season of the year?
© Elouise Renich Fraser, 15 December 2014
Stock Photo from Google