Empty Chairs: When Christmas Is Tinged With Nostalgia
Table all set. Empty chairs. Broken relationships. Separated families. Christmas, a time for revelry and reunions, is tinged with nostalgia, sadness, anguish, and unrest. No longer can you feel the splendor of these jolly days. We no longer anxiously await the joy of that date.
No more. There are no more sparkles, because someone is missing. Because everything has changed so much over the years that we have lost that wonderful illusion that invaded us as children. We no longer maintain the innocence that used to mark with joy any small detail. Because any and every little thing was full of unbreakable magic. Sadly, nowadays, grudges and absence no longer let us enjoy any of this.
Why does sadness invade us especially during these dates? Those moments in which festive days are approaching and everything starts: the preparations, the gifts, decorations and choosing the menu. That’s when memories emerge and flood our minds. We cant avoid them. The power of Christmas calling makes us even more aware of absences, past decisions and surprises.
How many of us will there be on the 24th? And the 25th? Who’s coming, and where am I going?
How many of us will there be on the 24th? and the 25th? Who is coming over and where am I going? Inevitably, when these questions arise, so do the empty chairs. Empty chairs that correspond to people who are no longer around. People who have left or have passed away. Memories of moments that now seem even more happy and full. More ours than those that are yet to come and, of course, the ones we are currently experiencing.
Those who are far away, people whose life lead down a different path. People who have chosen to not be around, who are now filled with enmity, who have been taken by death. Empty chairs that, though they aren’t physically filled by anyone, accompany us in these festive days in order to transport the suffering into the present moment.
They hurt, indeed. But, there is a space to hug in these empty chairs. A space to hug, accept and name without suspicion. And I say without suspicion because we can’t forget that, although we could cry over the empty chairs, the ones that are filled deserve our smile.