A Blue Christmas Without You

I wrote this for the Beaverton Resource Guide:

I’ll have a blue Christmas without you

Seven years ago, during the summer of 2012, we lost our son, Zach, at the age of 25.

For Christmas that year, my wife and I managed to get a Christmas tree. We placed upon it clear tear-shaped ornaments and blue lights. It was a Blue Christmas, a la, Elvis: “I’ll have a blue Christmas without you.” Nonetheless, it was Christmas.

The blue and the tears were good for our souls. I know that other celebrations besides Christmas are celebrated during the holiday season, but perhaps all of our celebrations have a similar orientation around this time of Winter Solstice. At the darkest point, the sun begins its rise.

There is much to be festive about at this time of year:  Shopping, parties, gathering with families, glowing candles, children in their pajamas, concerts and light shows and plenty of Santa hats. I love all of it.

Yet, Christmas (and the holiday season as a whole) is most complete when it includes some blue. The light that shines in the darkness is shining for the darkness of grief, loss, and struggle that we all experience. It is the price of being born.

Our tree won’t consist entirely of tear-shaped ornaments and blue lights this year, but there will be a couple of them. They will remind us of Zach and of loss and of the Light of a new dawn that pierces the darkness.

Wherever life finds you this season, may the Light meet you where you need to be met even if it shines through the color blue.

John Shuck is a Presbyterian minister. His website is www.progressivespirit.net

How to Survive Your Childhood Now that You’re An Adult

Ira Israel is a licensed professional clinical counselor and a licensed marriage and family therapist. He has graduate degrees in philosophy, religious studies, and psychology. He has a private practice in Santa Monica, California as well as on-line coaching. He leads workshops at the Esalen Institute and throughout the United States. He has 28 years of experience working in various capacities with award-winning filmmakers, musicians, artists, and writers. His website is www.iraisrael.com.

We discuss his book, How to Survive Your Childhood Now that You’re An Adult: A Path to Authenticity and Awakening and an article, “How The Internet Engendered The Fall of Consumer-Based Capitalism and the Rebirth of Democracy: A Brief History of the Future,”  He writes:  “My mission is to inspire you to be your best self and live an extraordinary and satisfying life full of supportive relationships, intimacy, love, creative expression, authentic communications, a thriving career, mental and emotional wellness, and a healthy balance of work and pleasure.”

ps 105 ira israel photo