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I’ll be home for Christmas
You can count on me
I’ll be home for Christmas…

I hear the words
on the radio and in my mind.
I see your face,
your eyes, smiling at me.
I am filled
with incredible sadness
knowing that
You won’t be home for Christmas.
Not this year,
Not next year,
Not anymore years ever again,
no matter how many times
the song plays.
Everywhere people are getting ready
to celebrate the season,
while I am left to mourn your death
and wonder if it will ever
feel like Christmas again
if I will ever feel happy again
without you home for Christmas.
This year I decorate the tree
for others, not for me
I unwrap each ornament
reaching into the box one more time
I pull out a small piece of paper
I unfold it and see a heart that you drew,
the words “I love you” written underneath.
Though tears start to fall,
a hint of a smile touches my face
as I realize you really are
home for Christmas.

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Deb Kosmer is the Bereavement Support Coordinator for Affinity Visiting Nurses Hospice, and she provides grief services to grieving individuals in the Fox Valley area in Wisconsin. She is a frequent speaker on the topic of grief in the community. Deb’s most credible credentials are the significant losses in her own life. In January, 1986, Deb’s father suffered a massive heart attack and died. Barely three years later, in 1989, she experienced the accidental deaths of her fourteen-year-old son and her thirty-one-year-old sister.