That Sting song came to mind yesterday as I was rolling out sugar cookies...sugar cookies that I am going to have to frost with extra icing, I think, because some of them will have an odd saline aftertaste.
When we got to church yesterday morning -- a church all bright and expectant in Advent blue, with our sanctuary Christmas tree festooned in white and gold chrismons and ribbons -- we found out that my pastor's spouse's father had died overseas, after a long illness and a final visit that hadn't gone the way one would have wished. Having gone through this myself with my mother -- the delirium and confusion and belligerance of her last day on this earth, and her passing before I could get to the hospital -- I felt myself overcome with sadness. And the juxtaposition of this sadness with the visual cheer of the church sanctuary, the laughing and chattering of the kids and the old hymns of Advent longing and hope...it just got to me. I found myself weeping all the way through the service, and in offering my condolences to my pastor and his spouse, and much of the way home, and most of the way through my cookie baking.
After passing through my first parentless Thanksgiving relatively calmly and cheerfully, I'm finding that this pre-Christmas season is going to be hard; very, very hard. I thought that keeping busy and focused on other people would keep these feelings at bay...well...not so much.