Bidding Prayer

Lastly, let us remember before God all those who rejoice with us, but upon another shore, and in a greater light, that multitude which no man can number, whose hope was in the Word made flesh, and with whom in the Lord Jesus we are for ever one.

I still listen to the Festival of Lessons and Carols at Christmas. My faith is dubious (although I went to Midnight Mass this year – see note about unhappiness and confusion.)

I found myself thinking of what it was to be without child or parent this Christmas. In some ways my mother is with me. She is with me when I sent my eldest nephew a crystal wine decanter upon hearing of his engagement. She was with me when I put spatula’s, tea towels and underwear in my stocking.

My son is ever with me. Crazy, perhaps, but there you have it. He lives in the space between my heart and my lungs and is with me in every way that matters.

It was not a happy Christmas. I have found myself a sort of lost for the last 3 months. I don’t have a particular explanation. I should be happy. I’ve no real reason to be unhappy. Yet here I am. Deeply unhappy. Muddling through as best I can. I hope it will pass. Perhaps it is not unreasonable to say that on Christmas Eve, I lowered myself on creaky knees and found myself praying that it would.

I do not know what I believe. That’s nothing new. In some ways, unhappiness is not much new either. A friend of mine both aptly and eloquently pointed out that I have experienced enough grief for a lifetime. It feels a bit melodramatic, but it is, I suppose, true.

I find myself going back to the things I knew. They change. I do not know them the same way. I do not believe what I once did. I suppose I am telling myself that this is alright. The bidding prayer used to connect me to what was- to my mother and my son. I know now that they are never gone from me.

The world, the bidding prayer tells me, is separated into shores. Not disconnected really. The ocean connects us all.

Not such a bad learning in the middle of unhappiness.

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2 Responses to Bidding Prayer

  1. Naomi Miller says:

    Oh Mrs. Spit, I don’t have any words of wisdom, but I couldn’t read the words “deeply unhappy” and not comment. I’m so sorry to hear this. It’s a familiar feeling to me to – to feel unhappy but not really know why (although, as you mention, you have had more than your share of grief and this is a particularly poignant time of year for you).

    Personally, I have a long history of depression, so I’ve gotten used to unforeseen dips and don’t even seek to understand them any more. I tell myself it’s probably hormonal or biochemical. That often makes me feel a bit better. The best advice I can give is to try and do any little things you can that bring you some pleasure, no matter how small, and to do this as often as you can. And to be kind to yourself and put yourself first. I hope that this difficult period will soon start to pass and wish you a more settled and peaceful 2017.

    Best wishes,


  2. a says:

    What do you mean, you have no particular reason to be unhappy? Haven’t you been telling us about how you feel a bit of a fish out of water with your classmates? How your schooling is not what you thought it would be? You’re out of your element, and the things you think should be easy haven’t been. It’s been more work than you’ve expected. Plus, thinking of the people who you would prefer to have with you at Christmas adds to a general low feeling. I would say that you’re simply exhausted.

    I’m glad that you found a sense of connectedness – that is surprisingly restorative.

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