This will be our first Christmas without him. It is bittersweet. It had been years since he had been sober on a Christmas Day. He felt such guilt at not being the man he wanted to be for his kids that he would become overwhelmed and drink those terrible feelings into much worse ones. He won’t do that this year. This year he is free of such pain, such guilt. He is in the arms of our Lord; he is with his mom and dad. He is no longer carrying the burdens that made him so sad and so angry.
But this also means he isn’t here. He isn’t here for us to hope that this is the Christmas he is sober, that he is really with us. We lost our hope that he would get well and would join us again in life. We wanted so much for him to share himself with us. We wanted him to see all he had to offer. It’s this loss of hope that makes our Christmas bittersweet. We know he is finally at peace but we have to miss him, miss the hope that he would be well and here.
Alcoholism robbed us of a father, a brother, and a friend. Alcoholism is ugly.
We will always be the family of an alcoholic but we are no longer fighting the good fight. We are good. Bittersweet.
No one knows what to do with the alcoholic. No one knows what to do with the family of an alcoholic either. Let me tell you what they need – love.
If you know an alcoholic who is active in his addiction then know his family needs your love and support. Is this person in rehab? Do the southern thing and take that family some dinner. Call and check on them. Send them a kind note. Pretend that alcoholic is a cancer patient instead. What would you do for a family whose loved one is away getting treatment for a disease? Then, do THAT for them. Oftentimes the alcoholic alienates everyone and by extension this means the loved ones become alienated from their people too. Loving an alcoholic isn’t easy. So, be kind this holiday season. Love on your people and notice those who may need more love than usual and take them a cake!