I mutter ‘bah-humbug’ beneath my breath
throughout this season of enforced good cheer
when we must never speak of loss, nor death
although the loss is all to great to bear:
Lost loved ones I remember, candlelight
recalls your living flame snuffed out too soon;
gaudy illuminations shine not half as bright
as you did when your love-light filled the room.
But you are now the Ghosts of Christmas Past
and we are told we must be of good cheer:
no earthly treasures can, we think, outlast
the gifts which you left us when you were here.
And so to you, I raise a solemn toast
and pray you’re welcomed by a heavenly host
I find Christmas hard…
There, I said it! Of course, I want everyone to have a good time, and I try to join in the fun as much as possible, but I’m always haunted by the Ghosts of Christmas Past. So I dedicate this poem to anyone who has lost loved ones at this time of year. You are not alone in grieving.
This post begins our Festive Sonnet Sunday! Do stay tuned for more, and if you like, link up a festive sonnet of your own in the comments below. As you can see from the above, there is no requirement to be cheerful! Though festive cheer is, of course, most welcome…
Here is a delightful offering from Selma Martin, reflecting on the true value of Christmas: Sonnet No.5
My dad died Christmas Day, 2012. Double-unforgettable.
I am so sorry. I understand why you are not the biggest fan of Christmas!
meh. People die. It’s right that parents should die before their children, at least. It’s just that the day makes it kinda in-your-face.
💞. Lost for words. Tears.
Thank you Lorraine! Sorry – I am in the Lake District with limited signal, but I did get all your comments ❤️
💞lost for words. Tears.
I lost my uncle in October and my very last grandmother in November. This post made me reflect on them. A good read indeed…!
Sorry for your loss, but glad the poem gave you something ❤️
I can understand, Ingrid. I think this year especially, lots of people have that bah humbug feeling.
Thank you Merril 😊
I totally get that. I think all special days because more painful when our close loved ones have died…
Thank you David ❤️
I hope this works. This is a brilliant sonnet Ingrid though so very sad. Brought tears to my eyes. I tried to post a pingback to my sonnet but don’t think it worked. Lorraine
Everything has worked, I was just not online to approve! Thank you so much Lorraine ❤️
Love the vulnerability in your poem. No more enforced cheeriness, please.
…Wrote you a lengthy comment but decided against it. I never want to downplay what you’re going through.
…And you’re so young and still have so much you wanted to do with your dearly departed.
Only God knows why these things happen to good people.
Just remember, Don’t look for Christmas in the clamor and display of superficial eventfulness, especially if your heart is heavy with one or many irreplaceable losses. Christmas is not there.
I’m really sorry you find Christmas hard.
It’s hard because you lost your northern star
So I raise a toast in cam’raderie
‘Cause I think you’re extraordinary
I bless you. Do what feels right in your heart and stay firmly in the light. xoxo
Thank you Selma, I think I am staying mostly in the light this year 🌟❤️🙏
Glad to know. I always knew you could do it. I bless you. Stay sweet. xo 🎄
And thanks so very much for the mention. Sending you good vibes.
Lovely, heart-touching sonnet, Ingrid! The carols you have posted are beautiful and much appreciated.
I have always admired your honesty and forthrightness as well as your talent and dedication. Your kindness and encouragement to others is inspiring. I wish you peace and comfort this holiday season. Thank you for all you do for others, including Festive Sonnet Sunday. <3
Thank you so much for this lovely comment, Cheryl! I do what I do because I love it, and hope that it brings joy to others ❤️
How those words spoke to me! Very well don, Ingrid! I especially love the lines” Lost loved ones I remember, candlelight/ recalls your living flame snuffed out too soon”
Thank you Virginia!
Such truth in your words Ingrid as you shed some light and love and I get out of my bah humbug mode and into the light. Remembering the light of each and everyone gone too soon and those in our world.. love to you! 💖💖❤️🌷🌷
Thank you Cindy! ❤️ I keep those candles burning 🕯
You’re so welcome my friend! So lovely! 💖
A lot of people find Christmas hard. In 2016 I had to spend Christmas (and New Year’s) in a group home for anorexia recovery. My family drove for 2 hours to see me for a few hours and then drove back. I felt mostly bad for them.
That must’ve been hard for you too. My mum struggled most of her adult life with anorexia.
I adore this poem for its truth. I find that when we can speak our truth with those closest to us, there is an opening there for relationships that will forever blossom. I also think we can hold both, pain and cheer as a possibility. Beautiful write, Ingrid!
That’s true: speaking our truth is a way forward into healing! Thank you Jeff 🙏
Indeed! Most welcome, Ingrid. Always. 🙏
‘a solemn toast’ – this is what I’m talking about! Deft!
I’m gonna wish you a happy xmas anyways, Ingrid! x
With raspberry jam? Or honey? Merry Christmas Nick! X
Mmm. Can we cut it in half – try a bit of both?
Oooh yeah, let’s mix it up a bit! I like your style x
Christmas IS a time of good cheer, but it is also a time for reflection, so I think remembering lost loved ones is very important to do at Christmas. I try to focus on good memories, but sometimes I feel the edge of sadness overcoming me from time to time.
Ingrid, I wrote one, too! 🙂
Joy becomes sorrow,
Warm days become icy nights
When loved ones are lost.
Loved this sonnet! I completely agree with you here 😀
Thank you so much!