I think it was Perry Como, or some such other crooner of the 1960's or '70's, who sang the song "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year." Allow me to express my sentiment as to why that's a total crock of shit!
Today, December 23rd - two days before the celebration of the birth of the mythic Cosmic Jewish Zombie, where everyone goes on a drunken spending orgy of mass consumerism and gets their credit card hacked through Target in an effort to outspend their cousin to get the inheritance from their Aunt Matilda - a good friend of mine died. She was 48 years old. She left behind a husband, 2 children and 3 grandchildren. What caused her death is really not that important. Suffice it say she clung to life for the last two months until today, when they had to pull the plug.
Her family will mourn, as will her friends - myself included. Which got me to thinking. How many other households in this country will lose a loved one in December, before the Xtian celebration of the Winter Solstice. Disease, a fatal accident, a drive by shooting in the ghetto that takes the life of a 6 year old, a murder committed by a drunken husband/lover/one-night-stand-paramour, that will cause family and friends to plunge into a period of grief and mourning. I very strongly suspect I'm not the only one to suffer the loss of a person close to me this month.
What makes it so much more intense is, to paraphrase the late Christoper Hitchens, we are at a time of the year in a society that, much akin to North Korea, demands one and all to worship and praise the great or dear departed leader, to have the mandate of forced happiness whether you want to or not, and to engage in the celebration of a birth that will ultimately end in a brutal human sacrifice for no good fucking logical or sensible human reason.
If this were to happen in the middle of August, or March, or September, normal human decency might prevail. Yet, this evening, I listened to others who knew her pay lip service to her passing, and ended their sentence with "Merry Christmas."
Yeah. Merry Fucking Christmas! Because nothing, NOTHING, can get in the way of the celebration of the great spiritual incarnate human sacrifice.
Not certain if Como did it, but Andy Williams is the one that most comes to mind here ... as though that means anything.
If nothing else, it's a reason to remember why I love my wife and my kid and my best friend and give some expression to that. As for anything else ... feh!
Thanks, Loren. I guess why I'm rather pissed off is the, "Ohh that's such a shame. By the way, have a Very Merry Christmas." Get a freaking clue!!!!!!
I'm so sorry about your loss. My aunt died earlier this month, but friends/family at least didn't mix the Christmas crap into the mourning. Granted, it wasn't THAT close to the holidays, so who knows what they would've done.
I've started senting out Solstice cards, to take back the TRUE meaning of the holiday, axial tilt!! In fact, that's what the cards said- "Axial tilt is the reason for the season. Enjoy your next trip 'round the sun!" Only a few friends/family got that one, and the rest got the usual generic winter greetings. I sent a separate sympathy card to my cousins, and the winter greetings a few days later.
EDIT: If it helps you feel any better, though, it just occured to me after I posted: Wakes and services are often like reunions, really more for the living to help each other through the mourning. It could simply be that these are people who haven't seen each other much lately, and are merely throwing the greeting in there, part of the usual conversation.
So I'd be a little more forgiving provided it were among the guests, perhaps a misguided attempt to add a bit of cheer to the moment. If it were said to the husband, kids, parents etc., that would be distasteful. But for people not quite as close, a lesser transgression.
I'm just reading this now, and I'm so sorry for your losses, Pat and Christine. The lives of everyone connected to your friend and to your aunt will never be the same. May good memories bring some measure of comfort.
(And I agree that "Merry Christmas" as usual is bullshit at such a time!)
Understand that I am underage and actually enjoy Christmas quite a lot(for Presents only), the Cosmic Jewish Zombie comment.....................Accurate and funny!
But as to the topic, I completely agree.
And please accept my condolences.
I sympathize. People tell you "oh, I'm so sorry to hear that" but really they are not sorry. If it didn't happen to them or someone close to them, they are simply paying lip service. Then they want to "pray for you." What does that mean? Do they think they will bring the dead back to life?
Mostly in my times of grief I just need to stay away from others because all they do is make me angry.