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One of my flaws as a writer — and as a human — is that I’m bad at self-disclosure. Really bad.

So this post is an attempt at something different.

It’s my first Christmas without Mom and G — the latter my much-loved grandmother, who died just 20 days before Mom  And like many who have suffered loss, it’s surely not a happy time.

To be sure, there are many happy memories. Late nights by a roaring fire in the Pine Barrens, summers on the lake, blazing hot days on Long Beach Island, and more.

Others are bittersweet, including the lavish Christmases G put on well into her nineties, replete with days’ worth of food. Now, even her Christmas ornaments are gone, most thrown in the trash. Even the thousands and thousands of photos and slides from my childhood are all gone, as are mementoes from my late brother, who died far too young.

Of course, many have lost loved ones during 2020, a year of tremendous suffering and loss. So it’s important to maintain perspective.

Over time, I’ll be fine. But this has the makings of a very blue holiday season.

To all who are sad or alone this holiday season, just know you’re not alone. Sending you love and warm wishes this holiday season.