To the Lonely at Christmas.

To the lonely at Christmas

I see you

and I know.

I know what it’s like to get together for the first time

and have to set the table for one less

then you did the year before

because cancer came and

left you an empty chair

I know what it’s like to feel the unraveling

of a happy family

torn apart

by grief and loss

and divorce and pain

wondering if things “will ever be the same?”

I see you

and I know.

I know that you’re tired and you’ve had enough

of hospital rooms and bad news

and agonizing heartbreak

to last you a lifetime

I see you

trying so hard to make it a fun Christmas

and yet your tears won’t dry up in time

to celebrate

Your pain is too great


all the white elephant parties

and gift exchanges with friends

and your night is too dark to be lit up by

mall lights

and twinkling Christmas trees

I see you

and I know.

I know what it’s like to lay in bed for days

and pray for the grace

to get up

and to show up

one more day

When your soul and your body ache

from the never-ending struggle

to be seen

to be known

and yet there is no one

that sees

Your husband is too busy

and your kids don’t come home

and you’ve lost everything

you’ve ever known

your health

your laughter

your freedom

your hope

I see you

and I know.

I know the depression that sets in

to your bones

this time of the year

when everyone’s got someone

everybody’s got places to go

and you’re all alone

in a crowd of strangers

and you’re supposed to be happy

but the tears won’t dry up

the wound won’t heal up

in time to make it

a Merry Christmas

So you stay in your frozen brick house

and watch the sun come up

and go down

every day

hoping that maybe someone

somewhere sees you this Christmas

and cares about the things you’re going through

Well I do.

I see you

and I know

I know what it’s like to be lonely at Christmas

to feel isolated

and unappreciated

and afraid

at the holidays

To be stuck in a place

a part of your past

you can’t erase

a relationship

that no longer serves you

and yet still haunts and taunts

and harasses you

every single day


I know what it’s like to live in a dream

so real and so bad that it wakes you up

each night

and crushes your chest

leaving you breathless


and incapacitated

from the weight of its


when the lights have gone out

and the people have vanished

and there is no more magic left

in your childhood stories

of Santa

and baby Jesus

and of the virgin Mary

It’s all meaningless

and empty

like the bottle of pills

that lay on your dresser drawer

and the unfinished plans

you had with a friend

the night before

No matter where you are

no matter what or when or how

you come to the table

this Christmas,

I want you to know that you are seen and

loved and heard

And you are not alone.

I see you

and I know.

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