An UnMerry Christmas

An UnMerry Christmas

The Ghosts of Christmas Pasts are attached to every  
Christmas word, song, smell and tradition.
Feeling like a knife that scrapes away little pieces of my heart,
leaving it shredded and bleeding.

The bright lights
meant to please just
hurt my eyes,
that are puffy from crying.

Crowds that once
empowered my
extroverted personality,
now leave me feeling drained.

Christmas music I used 
to hum and sing along with,
just lure me to a door on my heart
with a protective “do not enter" sign.

Smells of festive foods
bombard my memories with
meals I use to prepare
and served to loved ones.

Decorated trees have no place in my home
to stand towering - pointing branching fingers
toward loved one’s residual energy
whose physical presence can no longer be felt.

There is a time to be merry, and a time to grieve.
Grieving feels real and that’s okay for now.
To grieve does not require effort
or pretense.

It is in reality my “UnMerry Christmas.”
Please let it be what it is and help
me respect it's power to pass through my heart
and life this year without pretense.

Written by Debbie Kesley


  1. This was very powerful for me and so beautifully written. Thank you for your words and expression through this poem.