more gray skies welcomed me to life
on this very holy Christmas eve.
the arbor vitae surrounding the yard
are robbed of color as well by the
surrounding gray as silence reigns.

my mindheart wanders to Christmas's
past with you, luv, and family; the joy
of cutting down our tree on our land;
of awaiting the arrival of Betty and Art,
my dearest of dearest friends who most
often spent this day with us but now
there with you; of memories with family
gathered for mom's stuffing and turkey
and the blessings of love we shared.

so many memories flood my heart today
as I sit by my fire in silence and alone-
looking back on the blessings and sorrows
of my years here on this earth...Bentley at
my side wondering if a miracle will allow
us one more Christmas season together.

the past becomes the present and we take
it all into the future; a future that looks
precarious and empty as i sit here today;
but one i must make meaningful by giving
to those around me and by receiving the love
offered to me, a humble recipient.
now later, with NPR broadcasting Christmas
Mass from England, a favorite place of ours.
more memories of days in London flow through
me as chicken curry cooks in the slow cooker,
in anticipation of dinner here with friends
tonight...a first since you died, my love.
pies bake for tomorrow at a friend's home.
it is all so much when i think of those who
have nothing: no food, no home, nothing and
yet i, i yearn for more. just one thing more-
that the empty chair at tonight's table would
be filled with your physical presence on one
more holy, warm, and joy-filled Christmas eve.

may each of us, on this special day, acknowledge
the blessings and sorrows that have been ours
to embrace and may we make meaning by giving
of ourselves to so many who have so little or
who are in pain themselves...let we who grieve
become wounded healers in some way each day.




Anne Gorman
12/24/2014 12:09pm

Thank you, Mary, for this heartfelt Christmas Eve message of peace and hope. May you also find a special peace in your heart this holiday season. May all of our empty chairs be looked upon with beautiful memories of those we have lost. Blessings to you. Anne

Mary Friedel-Hunt
12/24/2014 12:35pm

Oh, an how blessed we were and are...with memories not many can claim and love that embraced/s us each day. And blessings to you, Anne.

Jan Crowther
12/24/2014 12:25pm

oh beautifully expressed and of course I share your feelings. If only. Nothing comes close to that space, hole, chasm in our lives. I wish you health and as much joy as possible, even if it only comes now and then.

Mary Friedel-Hunt
12/24/2014 12:37pm

Dear Jan, I thought of you today and our trips to England came to mind. May you and yours cherish your memories and your tomorrows.
Mary with love.

Kay Oxford
12/27/2014 12:33pm

Thank you for your shared reflections...the empty chair does not escape me. Bentley adds much to the mix!
This is an introspective Christmas, quiet, realizing what is important.

Mary Friedel-Hunt
12/27/2014 12:51pm

Thank you, Kay. So good to hear from you. I know you had surgery...and I hope you are healing well and taking good care of yourself. I don't think the empty chair ever goes away. Right? It is sort of a symbol of the hole we learn to live with, I guess.
Peace and health this coming year, Mary

Helene Domi
12/29/2014 7:19am

Beautiful words for how my soul feels. I lost a dear lifelong friend a week ago. It still doesn't seem possible that I will never see him again.
So many people gone that my heart aches. Nowhere to put the hurt anymore.
Thanks for your words.

Mary Friedel-Hunt
12/29/2014 9:12am

Dear Helene, I am so very sorry for your loss. I do understand loss and the pain we will always carry. I also know the load gets easier to carry as we do our grief work. A great support site is There you will find people who will walk with you and who are walking their own pain. You can browse if you wish to see if you wish to become a member. Again I am sorry. Peace to your heart, Mary

12/29/2014 11:12am

How poignant and true, Mary. I ran to NC for my first Christmas away from home since Vic died. Not surprising that my longing for Vic wasn't a bit better there than it is at home where I returned the day after Christmas. Grief feels more bearable when I can let it in without burdening others.
I'm deeply touched by your images of love, hope, and loss. I think I need to pull out some photographs and have a good cry.
Sending you gentle love and tenderness. It was so brave of you to write this piece.


Beautiful picture shown in the photo album at the occasion of Christmas. When the christmas arrived, me with my family capture many picture that is only for memory able.


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