Updated: Dec 16, 2022
Irene Peterson lives in Sonoma, where she enjoys year-round gardening, swimming, and enjoying the great outdoors with her husband John (traveling from mountain to ocean in their hippie van). She also relishes time spent with her daughters Michaela and Grace, and grandchildren Hailey and Tommy. Irene lost her beloved son Kai in December 2010 and discovered Sacred Sorrows as a retreat participant in the spring of 2022.
This time of year is hard. It's a battle. When I was young, my mom would always tell me to "turn it over" to God when I was faced with difficult things. I know that this is good advice. But in the morning when I wake up, the enormous weight of the loss of my only son crashes down on me, and I must arise from my bed to wipe the tears away. I am sometimes so disturbed by this morning onslaught that I cannot remember to "turn it over." Then I wonder if my subconscious mind takes over just to torture me without my permission.
I'm not going to sugar coat it - this is daunting. Everywhere I go messages of "joy" and "consumerism" bombard me. At my age, I don't need a thing, so I'm not taken in by that, but I do think I need to buy stuff for friends and family. I try to seek only non-commercial, non- secular sources of meaningful gifts at this time of the year.
But the mornings weigh me down. After I awake from my slumber, ingest a healthy dose of coffee, and take a long look at some inspirational reading, I am somewhat relieved of the onslaught and I become calm again. Soon, this yearly marathon of swashbuckling, machete- in-hand through the jungle that is the "holidays" will once again be over. (Thank you God.)
I will share a little hope though: when I do try to "turn it over," I'm reminded that God is actually here for me every day, not just during this torturous time of the year.
God is here for me every day.
The Peace that surpasses all understanding is what I seek now, and every day. Here you go, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Take my pain and anguish, and leave me Peace.