Many will be missing from holiday tables this year. Helps counter traditions.

By now the Christmas tree will be decorated with ornaments, and presented under its branches.

The colored lights would have flickered, the stockings would have been hung with care, and a small army of Santa would stand atop candy canes and snow globes and other Christmas bricks-a-break scattered around the living room.

And Kenia Leone would be quick to smell her mother’s lichon, a gently-roasted boar as it filled her home in Las Vegas with its fragrance.

“At this point, our house must have looked like a window to Messi’s shop,” said Leon, 40, “My mom’s favorite holiday was Christmas. The tree was up before Thanksgiving was in the turkey oven.”

But not this year.

Leon’s mother, 75-year-old Petronilla Maria Leon, died in April of Kovid-19. And the chair where she always sat during the family’s traditional Cuban Christmas Eve would be empty.

Leon’s house is decorated for Christmas 2019.Courtesy Kenia Leone

It is likely to be a subdued holiday season for many Americans, cut off from family and unable to conduct traditional ceremonies due to a virus that has infected more than 17 million people throughout the United States and which – latest According to NBC News data – continues to claim new victims at an alarming pace.

But it would be particularly lonely for the families of the more than 300,000 people in America who were killed by this brutal virus, David Kessler, one of the nation’s leading grief counselors.

Leon home Christmas decorations from 2019.Courtesy Kenia Leone

Kessler, author of “Finding Earth: The Sixth Stage of Grief”, said, “This will be a holiday season like no other, because we haven’t seen a funeral after 9/11 or after the AIDS crisis.” “It will be a different Christmas.”

Leon, still recovering from his battle with the coronovirus, said that it is unlikely that his brother and his new wife will join him on leave. They, too, came down with coronovirus infection and would not risk getting sick again.

“I’m not sure if I have the strength to plant a tree or decorate myself,” she said. “Our house looks very naked right now.”

So, Leon said, he resigned himself greatly to spending Christmas Eve with his dog Charlie Brown, who still pines for his best friend, all of life called Merry.

“He still sleeps near the door of my mom’s room, and he often stays at the place where my mom used to sit on the couch,” Leon said. “He hung out together a lot while we were at work. He misses that too.”

‘it’s very different’

National tragedies such as Pearl Harbor, airstrikes during World War II, or the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, shook the country and flashed an eyelid when the holidays took off.

“But almost no one, after 9/11, told a relative of a victim, ‘I don’t know if it’s true that he died in a terrorist attack,” Kessler said. “Here, a national crisis has been taken over by politics, and the existence of the epidemic has been questioned. People have died, and we are still debating whether to wear masks.”

Kovid-19 victims often died alone, Kessler said. And they were often buried alone due to epidemic restrictions on funerals and travel.

“It’s very different,” he said. “We don’t see this virus. We didn’t see that.”

Sadly, Keller said, “to be seen” must be accepted.

“Many people are in deep, deep pain,” he said. “The sad thing is that most people don’t get it until the Kovid close to them dies.”

Leon agreed.

“That’s one of the disappointing things about this, people who listen say that the data is being manipulated and it’s not as bad as what is being reported,” she said.

Different cultures have different ways of recognizing death and loss while being one of the happiest times of the year.

It is customary for Jews during Hanukkah to remember stories about people who left while sharing a remembrance and food for lost loved ones while burning the Menorah.

On the third day of the week’s celebration, those participating in Korvaza on Uzma are likely to remember coronovirus victims, the subject of which is responsibility and collective work.

Steven William Thrasher, an assistant journalism professor at Northwestern University who grew up celebrating Kavanza, said in an email, “I can imagine that people were talking about the need to wear masks, to each other.” Were taking care of that, maybe that day. “

Seeing the graves of loved ones on Christmas day is an age-old Irish tradition. The Finns do the same, but on Christmas Eve.

The poles leave a seat vacant on Christmas Eve, a custom that began as a reminder to unexpected guests to be hospitable and who, after the 1863 rebellion, lost a war or forced into exile. Transformed into a memorial for loved ones.

In Portugal, extra places are set at the Christmas morning feast for the “soul of the dead”.

Experts said that Americans will also be challenged to come up with ways to celebrate the holidays, while those still mourning are being mourned.

“You can accept the absence of a loved one and still have a holiday,” said Sue Groner, author of “Parenting with Sanity and Joy”.

“Making food using a recipe, which is a lovely job of theirs,” she said. “You can hang an ornament with a picture of the person on a tree. You can sing that person’s favorite song. That way, you are accepting them and making them part of the holiday. Perhaps this ritual is an annual tradition. becomes. “

This is particularly important, Gröner said, that children perceive that “these are normal feelings.”

“Don’t celebrate the holidays – just do it in a way that feels right for your family,” she said.

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