Image courtesy of Dale Rogerson
It’s picture-perfect. Instagram ready.
The table set for twelve. Silver napkins. Crackers glittering gold. Fairy lights twinkle from the tree in the corner.
I bubble Processco into glasses before straightening the place cards, each name written in cursive script.
With my phone I snap a selfie, chin tilted, eyes wide, mouth pouting. Santa hat balanced cutely upon my glossy hair.
Can’t wait for you guys to arrive!!! #YouKnowWhoYouAre
Immediately the ‘likes’ start rolling in but today I don’t care.
There’s nobody coming.
I weep as I pack everything away.
850k followers and I’m alone.
This time of year can bring immense joy but it can also be the cause of unimaginable sadness. Let’s all look out for each other. Check on your friends, your neighbours, your family. Pick up the phone instead of commenting on a post. Social media can be distorted. Misleading. Above everything, Christmas should be a time for caring. Kindness is contagious, be a carrier.
‘A Social Media Christmas’ was written for Friday Fictioneers. A weekly challenge to write a 100-word piece of flash fiction, inspired by a photo prompt. Hosted by the fabulous Rochell Wisoff-Fields, you can read the other entries and/or join in yourself here.
How do you even begin to heal from a loss? How do you start to move forward when your bruised and fragile heart wants to stay in the past. How can you contemplate a future when your exhausted mind is stuck in a loop, reliving memories and replaying conversations? How can you contemplate integrating with the world when you feel so alone?
The truth? I don’t know. It is very early days for me and just as we all have unique fingerprints, our grief is never comparable to anyone else’s.
What I do know, is that while we are grieving the person we lost, loving the person we lost, we must make sure we love ourselves too, show ourselves the same compassion and understanding we would offer our best friend.
My mindfulness practice enables me to explore my feelings in a kindly, non-judgemental way, not an easy thing to do, but grief is not something I want to repress, resist or try to get over. Grief has no time limit.
Through self-compassion we can once again feel connected to the world, not isolate ourselves in a bubble of hurt.
There is a story about a woman called Kisa Gotami. She lost her only child and desperately asked if anyone could help her. Buddha told her he could help if she could bring him some mustard seeds from a household where no one had died. She went from house to house but could not find a home where no one had suffered loss.
Grief. You are not alone.
Written for Streams of Consciousness Saturday. This weeks prompt is heal. No editing allowed.