How do you make sense of tragedy at any time but especially during the holiday season?

It's supposed to be the "most wonderful time of the year" dammit. Why now?

But then.... why ever?

The holiday season is a hard time to write about things.

I am, by all intents and purposes, an elf. Human born, like Buddy, but an elf all the same.

There is scarcely anything that brings me greater joy than the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

And not everyone feels this way, I get that, so writing about it (especially when I could write about it ALL day EVERY day) gets a little overwhelming and likely nauseating for some.

Also, I am conscious of the fact that there is always someone out there dealing with something that is overshadowing their holiday preparation. Illness, death of a loved one, loss, heartbreak, depression... and the list could go on.

So I tend to be a little quieter over here during this time, not just because it's a busy time of year but also to keep my need for sprinkling every situation with sugar and sprinkles like life is a misshapen cookie that I can fix with enough sugar coating. There are some cookies that can't be fixed.

And then, tragedy happens and you realize, sometimes words need to be said.

So how do you make sense of tragedy during the holiday season? How do you make sense of a 42-year old dying suddenly of a heart attack?

...I think, the same way you make sense of this at any time. You find one teensy, eensy bright spot in the dark cloud and you run with it. And then, you count your own blessings. And if you get done listing them all, just go back and do it again.

My high school best friend died tragically over the past week. At the age of 42. Leaving her presents unwrapped and probably her cookies unbaked and yet, that stuff doesn't matter to death. It will happen despite not having it listed on the To Do list.

If there's a bright spot in any of this it's that this same woman lost her own mother tragically over 20 years ago. Waaaay too young to lose a mom. So for 20 plus years she has gone through life not being able to ask her mom or tell her mom and I believe, now, she can. That she is reunited with the woman she had to say goodbye to all those years ago in time for the holiday season is the bright spot that I'm running with on this one.

Therefore, if I'm taking my own advice, my next step would be to go count my blessings.

I'm logging off for this part. Because if there is one thing that tragedy teaches you, it's that you have A LOT to be thankful for.

Readers, go, be thankful this season. Take a few moments and just look around at the things you maybe sometimes forget to say thank you for. The shoes on your feet, the $3 cash you found in your pocket, the dinner you had last night, the dog that's incessantly barking for you to come walk it...

All the little things that you would miss if your tomorrow didn't come.

Enjoy your holiday season friends, in the most grateful of ways.