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Feelings and Emotions: Sweet Melancholy

Updated on December 1, 2012

IT IS ALL IN THE DEFINITION

“a sober thoughtfulness; a pensiveness.”

The primary definition for melancholy is “a prolonged depression.” For the purpose of this article I will be using the secondary definition, which is seen above….a sober thoughtfulness.

However, what’s with the sweet melancholy title? How can a sober thoughtfulness be sweet?

To answer that question, I believe a certain perspective needs to be attained. Perhaps the perspective comes from maturity. Perhaps, maturity and experience are the twin-answers that bring with them clarity of mind. I know that when I was young, there were certainly emotions, and there was most definitely raw pain associated with melancholy.

My father died in my arms when I was twenty. Massive heart attack; one minute he was there, and the next, gone. One minute I’m home from college, having a little rest and relaxation, and the next minute I’m in mourning and my foundation has shifted and crumbled.

There was nothing sweet about that moment, and for years after I would be hard-pressed to find anything other than an open wound when I thought about it.

However, with time comes healing, and with healing comes that hard-to-find perspective, so that now, today, I can look back at my time with my father and think, not of the pain associated with his death, but the loving moments we shared together for those twenty years.

Sweet melancholy!

Sweet memories of my father
Sweet memories of my father | Source

SO MANY SPECIAL MOMENTS

I remember the first few Christmases after my son was born. The sparkling of tree lights in his eyes as he would sit in front of the tree and stare at the beauty, a look of absolute wonder on his face. Childlike innocence and fatherly love, all still there in my mind, waiting for me to play the video once again. It would be so very easy to find sorrow in those memories, for his mother and I divorced shortly after those first few holidays, and there is melancholy for sure, but today it is sweet melancholy, embracing the wondrous moments I had with my son during those first few years.

Playing cards with my sister, the sounds of laughter throughout the house as her children frolicked about, running to and fro. My sister and I had many wonderful moments together, and there was genuine love, and yet when she died in 2006, she and I were not speaking to each other. We were locked in a silent battle over a misunderstanding and distrust. Today I can embrace the decades of love that she and I shared, rather than wallow in guilt or shame.

I cannot think of the holidays without thinking of several I ruined because of my alcoholism. Make no mistake about it, I have caused pain in my lifetime. I have hurt people who loved me, and I have burned bridges that will never again be re-built. Still, today, I choose to remember the lessons I have learned, and the life I now have is wonderful because of those lessons learned. Would I have learned them if it were not for the pain associated with my addiction? Possibly, but I don’t believe so. I had to suffer in order to learn, and pain was a great and wise teacher for this man.

Sweet melancholy!

So many great memories to celebrate
So many great memories to celebrate | Source

WILL I WALLOW OR WILL I DANCE?

That, really, is the question today, and I choose to dance! Life is to be savored! Life is to be celebrated! I do not avoid old memories, but instead I embrace the positives associated with those old memories.

When I think of sweet melancholy, I often think of the traditional “Irish wake.” Now, my friends from Ireland will most likely correct me, but my impression of an Irish wake goes something like this. In days gone by, the deceased was prepared for burial at home, and then was kept in the home for viewing. Neighbors, relatives and friends would come from near and far to view the body, and then a session of “keening” would occur, the traditional wailing and crying generally associated with this tradition.

Then off to another room they all go, where food and drinks await them, and a session of story-telling and laughter ensues, as each mourner tells of the happy times that they had with their dearly departed. It is a celebration of life, and a celebration of time well-spent with those who have passed on.

That, to me, is the perfect example of sweet melancholy.

My father would be eighty-eight today had he lived. I would love to be able to spend this upcoming holiday with him, to watch him interact with his grandson, who he would be so proud of, and to laugh with him as we once did. I have wished that now for forty-three years, and I will keep on wishing it until the day I die, at which time my son will take over the wishing duties, and the circle of life will continue.

Such is life, the bitter with the sweet, the laugher with the tears, and the joy with the heartache.

I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Do you have moments of sweet melancholy?

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Sit with me and let's talk about life

INDEED, CHANGE IS MELANCHOLY BY ITS VERY NATURE

All changes are more or less tinged with melancholy, for what we are leaving behind is part of ourselves.
Amelia Barr

And therein lies the truth. When we undergo change, a part of us is left behind, and that is the cause for the melancholy. I can think of my youth, the carefree days of running and laughing, playing the games of children. I was strong and lithe, ran like the wind, and my future was as grand as my mind could conjure. Time, however, has different plans for us, and today, instead of running free like the wind, I move with purposeful intent towards goals that seem more realistic and less whimsical. For me to feel melancholy for those earlier days is only natural, for they were a part of me that will never be again. Still, every time I think of those days gone by, I smile, for they were indeed wonderful, and they shaped me into the man I am today….and I like the man I am today!

And so it goes! Today I dance in the rain like that child of long ago. Today I embrace all that life has to offer, an embrace born from memories of days gone by. Today I love as I was raised to love; I laugh as I was raised to laugh. I face each day with a song, for my life has been sixty-four years of singing a melody only I could hear, and it is a sweet melody for sure.

It is a song of sweet melancholy, and it is eternal and never-ending!

2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nancy, I spent too many years looking at the negative and pain. No longer! It's all positive from now on. :) Thank you!

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 4 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      We all have our lessons that we must learn. Some of us have more unhappy ones than others. But we can all learn how to see only the good.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Whonu, you are oh so correct. Thank you Sir!

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 4 years ago from United States

      You overcame it all, Bill,and that is what makes all the difference. Great hub, my friend. Whonu

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      So very cool, Sha! And now look at me, surrounded by love.....man, what a life!!!!!!!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Yeah, you are, Bill. Your last memory was of your dad choosing you when he left this earth. It's heartbreaking, but it's a special calling placing you as the connection between this life and the path to Eternal Rest with God. You were chosen, as was my Mom.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, as always, thank you my dear friend. At the time it was pretty traumatic, but looking back now, I can appreciate the fact that I was there to provide comfort for him, and I was the last person he saw....and that, my friend, is pretty damn special. :) We all need someone there with us when we pass on.....and he had his son, who loved him....

      I'm a pretty lucky man, Sha! :)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, I cannot fathom holding a loved one in your arms as they take their last breath. I've done that with pets and the emotional pain was tremendous.

      My mother, that beautiful woman I've shown in several of my hubs, is one of ten kids. When Grandaddy was dying, he asked for Toni. My mom's name is Barbara, but her Uncle Red, who was blind, deemed her Toni when she was born, so Mom's elderly relatives called her Toni. (Her brothers and sisters either called her Barb or Baboo).

      Anyway, Grandaddy called for Mom. My recollection is she saw Granddaddy go back in time as he was dying until he was once again a child and he died in her arms when he got to where he wanted to be.

      I'm crying as I write this and I cried when I read your recount. You and Mom have memories that no other have. They may have been sad at the time, and may still be, but they are sweet melancholy memories and precious. If we all need to experience melancholy, may we have the sweet to go with it and keep the memories warm.

      I posted a hub a while back about Grandaddy. I don't know if you've read it or not but it's called Cheyenne and I have a picture of him posted in the hub.

      This hub really touched my heart, Bill. Sending you a hug from Florida with tears in my eyes and warmth in my heart.

      Sha

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, I did see the movie and loved it. Some say it is too slow, but I thought it captured the mood of the times wonderfully. As for your parents.....yes, painful...very painful. I have no cliches to make it better....just understanding and empathy.

      Thank you for your compliment; I appreciate your honesty in sharing a personal experience like that.

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      Deb Welch 4 years ago

      My dad passed in mid-2006 at 89 and I cried him a river. My mother followed beginning of 2007 at 85. The last 15 years of their lives - I didn't know those two old people as my parents anymore. I do remember what they were once were but we were never to see them again in that light. So sad and hard to accept in the mind. I have sweet memories and not so sweet - they come and go. I never knew death could affect as deeply or dearly. Parting is such sweet sorrow. Excellent Hub - I enjoy your videos as well. You're great. Thanks. I saw the movie, Lincoln, and this film will undoubtedly win numerous awards - I think you would enjoy it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary.....maybe you might want to give that idea a lot of long, hard thought. LOL I do know what you are talking about; there is something about having little kids around this time of year that really brings out the spirit of Christmas. Thank you for the visit my friend, and Happy Holidays to you.

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      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      I have to admit I am suffering from "sweet melancholy" this Christmas. I miss not having little children to have Santa Claus with, and to make Christmas cookies with. My brood are all grown now, but I miss the children they were once.

      Dont' misunderstand: I look forward to spending time with my grown children. Maybe I should adopt some little ones, huh???

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissa, thank you so much! I choose to be happy today; I will leave the mourning to those who need it. I would rather celebrate the times I had with my loved ones.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 4 years ago from Minnesota

      This was a beautifully written hub and so full of truths. We all suffer losses (My father passed away when I was 24 years old, so I can particularly relate to this part). We also all have joy. It is the circle of life. Keep singing your sweet song, we all are listening!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Tammy! I don't think anyone has ever described my writing as gorgeous before! That made me happy.

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      The holidays are that time of the year when I nurse my own melancholy. I think of those that I have lost. This is a bittersweet reflection which achieves the balance between mourning and longing. Gorgeously written!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, what a lovely gift to give me this Sunday morning....angles coming my way. :) Thank you dear friend; I know I have a hub of yours to read, and I shall do that shortly. Yes indeed....I love who I am today; why regret or be sad those things that led me to this place and this time? Rejoice and enjoy life!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      rmcleve, that was a lovely thing to read this morning. Thank you so much; it appears to me that you are pretty intelligent about life for someone so young. Bravo to you for seeing what is important in life. Blessings and thanks to you this Sunday.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mary! I am big on sweet melancholy. I used to think back and become depressed.....now I see the memories as part of the landscape of my life, which led me to a very happy place today.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pickles, I have that happen quite often, and I don't realize I have missed hubs until someone comments on my hubs and then I realize I haven't seen anything by them in awhile. A bit annoying but oh well, not much I can do about it. Thank you for reading my stuff while you enjoyed your coffee. Lessons learned.....not all easy, but all were necessary. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Julie, it does indeed bring back memories. I just saw my son last night and I was reminding him of those days, and we shared a smile or two.

      Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Randi, dancing is the only way to go. I used to crawl but that was no fun at all. :) Thank you for your kindness; you are greatly appreciated.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Martin, I have never been in your shoes, but I do know people who have chronic illness, and even terminal illness, and they say the same thing. Thank you for a meaningful and personal comment.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Good morning Bill

      This touched so many chords within my soul. I had just read another article this morning which briefly touched on this topic. Sorrow, pain, and sadness, melancholy, if you will, all do imprint on our lives and determine to some respect who we become. I know that I am a sum total of all of the experiences I have had have made the Patti of today. And as with you, I like the me I have become. Life has been good to me and has connected me with others who inspire me to greatness by stimulating my thinking and feelings. You are one of those Bill who definitely is a reason to be on HP. To learn and grown and share is reason enough to be here. thank you for sharing. Sending Angels your way. ps :)

    • rmcleve profile image

      Rachael Cleveland 4 years ago from Woodbridge, VA

      This is such a lovely hub, and you bring up really important ideas. First of all, I'm so sorry you went through such a tragedy with your father, and I'm pleased to hear that you've found ways to mature and heal afterwards. One of the hardest parts of bad, painful memories is not letting them cast a gloomy shadow upon the rest of your life. They can be like ink; they bleed onto everything around them.

      But, those all-too-often turn to regrets and years or decades of hurt. Learning how to appreciate the good in the bad is one of the most significant we face as humans who age. Even in my brief 25 years, I've started to see beauty in the disastrous pain of loss or harm. Tomorrow's sunrise will still be beautiful, no matter what happens today.

      This is a wonderful reminder, and I'm so happy to have read it! Thanks, billybuc!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      You've brought back so many memories for me as well....both of my parents are gone and there isn't a day goes by I don't think about them and remember them....but life goes on and my children and grandchildren now make my life, the 'circle of life'....we never forget but we always look forward. This was beautiful and heartfelt Bill.

      Voted up, Awesome, and interesting.

    • picklesandrufus profile image

      picklesandrufus 4 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

      For some reason, I did not get the notice of this hub, but saw someone had commented, so I looked you up and glad I did. As I relax with my morning coffee, reading this hub was my first order of business for the day. It rings such a bell of truth and like you , my life is filled with sweet melancholy. Even though life is full of lessons, the fact that we can put "sweet" in front of the word, hopefully means ....lesson learned. Great hub!!

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

      Bill, your hub brought tears to my eyes; thinking about your son as a young boy at Christmas reminded me of wonderful Christmases when my daughter was younger and it wasn't all about the money :o) This time of year always jogs memories doesn't it?

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Ahh Bill, you are right, so sweet and melancholy. We all have so many memories and stories to tell! I am, ny friend, so gad you "choose to dance". You probably know ny now that that is one of my catch phrases. Life isn't always easy and the more people I know, the more stories I hear and the more stories I hear, the more I learn. Thank you for sharing your beautiful stories and wisdom and, Bill...I hope you dance.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      As a part of my illness I succumb into a melancholy that is as real as the circumstances where happening then and there. Fortunately most of it is of the joyous sort. Reason to live a positive life.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, the good times were great, and the good times are great, and they will be great. I wouldn't have it any other way. :) Thank you Ruby and I hope you are having a wonderful weekend.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I'm glad you danced. We all could have sat it out. Life was not always good but we survived. Looking back at the sad times in our life, made us who we are today. We can dwell on the past or move forward. I chose to move forward, not that i forgot, but i choose to remember the good times, they outweigh the bad. Thank you for reminding us that the good times were really great.. Cheers.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Louisa, you can natter here any old time you feel like it. It's always nice to have you visit. Thank you!

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      Louisa Rogers 4 years ago from Eureka, California and Guanajuato, Mexico

      Funny how memories change over time. In my 20s I thought I'd had a rough childhood (a popular belief at the time). Now, I don't deny there were difficulties but I think, it got me here, and here is good. I remember the sweetness and yes, there is a sadness in sweetness. I had a lot of loss for a young person, but life keeps rolling on. I'm just nattering, taking a break from the hub I'm writing! Thanks Bill, it was lovely reading this.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Amy, you said it as well as I ever could. Bring on the experiences! I will learn from them and move forward. Life is so rewarding if I am willing to learn.

      Thank you dear lady!

      love from Oly

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I love the term "Sweet Melancholy" and the accuracy you define it with, Bill. Most of my work at hubpages centers around those experiences that impact me the strongest, often love and loss. Yet, there is always hope. We live, we learn. I am not plagued by melancholy, however. It comes into every life. I feel it, I mourn, and I move on, all we all must. I feel things deeply, however, and I never forget, not do I want to forget, the inspiration of my deepest feelings. Sweet melancholy says it perfectly. Our experiences, good and bad, change us, as they should, hopefully for good. I am alive. I cry, as well as smile, laugh and live large. I regret nothing. I am the sum of my experiences, good and bad, and I like me...and you, too! Thank you for a great read, Bill. Love to you from me in St. Lou

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Maria, we are, indeed, kickin' it, and ain't life grand? Yes it is! With time comes a great deal of healing; it is the way of life, as long as we are open to the healing.

      Thank you Maria; I am so happy that we are friends.

      love,

      bill

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      Maria Jordan 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      With time comes healing...

      Yes, Bill, this is the essence of life. We are all meant to be here, until God is ready for us. There is no way to truly alter that course in life.

      There is no age discrimination and I have countless examples...take you and me, please...of people who should by all odds be dead and they are kicking it...dancing if you will.

      So, to live every day as though it could be your last and to end the day with no regrets...this seems the way. Sweet melancholy is just fine...along with the heart-filled memories when possible.

      Voted UP and AB. Love, Maria

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jackie, I plan on having a marvelous holiday season, and I wish you one as well. Thank you my friend.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Valley, thank you Sir! Yes, the temporal....for sure it is much more significant now as I have grown older....and hopefully, some day, wiser. :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, I understand. Thank you! :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nellie, I am the sole survivor of our family....and yes, there is sadness....but like you, I choose to celebrate the times we shared. Life is good, I am well, and it is all in part due to the people I shared my life with.

      Blessings to you my friend, and thank you!

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      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Going from hub to hub it seems most are of your same mind and of course even I; having lost a brother and both parents, can relate. There is the overall sadness they are gone and all the things we wish we had done, but since we can never change that all we can do is cling to all the good things and wonderful memories and all the love there was. That will make it a very merry Christmas. I wish you one.

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      Valleypoet 4 years ago

      'Sweet melancholy' seems to fit perfectly with the bitter sweet memories you describe here Bill. In recent years I have become much more conscious of the temporal and aware of the memories of events that cannot be re-lived, except in the imagination.

      Great hub Bill, thank you:-))

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      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      I read this and love it...but I'm going to spare myself a comment.......thanks bill.

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      Nellieanna Hay 4 years ago from TEXAS

      Billy, each time I've visited and read your hubs, then have enjoyed the treat of your and Bev's marvelous videos making the points you worded become so real & heart-touching, I've been all the happier to have come by. This one is especially uplifting!

      Every 'up' has its corresponding 'down'; both have value. The overall effect of knowing that, accepting it, valuing it for its life-lessons & welcoming both as they happen, is to be more happy than sad - much more happy, in fact.

      At my last sibling's funeral last May, even though our Irish blood wasn't really involved at the church ceremony, there was just that kind of joyous memory of Ruth & all her funny episode & unorthodox behaviors. Her children, her grandchildren, and friends were in attendance but I was one who was able to speak of her from furthest back, being the one who'd known her longest of all in the crowd. She was 12 when I was born, but no one else there had known her for 80 years but I. Her youngest granddaughter surely loved her and missed her the most of all present. Each speaker was like a gem. for her crown.

      Being the only remaining member of my natal family, there have been many departures, each with its own sadness and its own joy. I like to remember the joy.

      Thank you, Bill -- for another 'keeper'!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine....LOL....yes, I think my dad is looking down and smiling. Thank you for that, and thank you for being the person you are. Have a great weekend and I hope your Saturday isn't as bad as normal. :)

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      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      I was practically crying reading you talk about how your father would have been 88 years old today and know where ever he is, he is so very proud of you for all you have accomplished and the wonderful man you ave become. That said I loved your message here and since I married an Irishman (Kevin is 100%) all I ever hear from his side of the family is about the Irish wake indeed and apparently the deceased have one hell of last party!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Liz, let's mark this date on the calendar....the day Liz was at a loss for something goofy to say. LOL Thank you my goofy friend; I appreciate you more than you know.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Whonu, short but sweet, and I can appreciate that. Thank you Sir!

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      whonunuwho 4 years ago from United States

      Hey Bill, to keep it short and sweet, thanks for sharing your poignant work and it is so well received in our hearts. Your pal. whonu.

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      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      I love how you made the transition from talking about deaths in your family to the Irish wake that goes from mourning to a celebration, then to the melancholic feeling of a bit of sadness and joy at the same time: sadness for the passing of time, and joy for where life's events have brought you today. It really makes a strong point. And leaves me at a loss for something goofy to say. Good job :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Linda! I used to be so good at wearing a mask that you wouldn't even know I wore one. :) Now I talk about it, which is a huge step forward. Of course, we all wear masks now don't we?

      Have a wonderful day my friend; my mind is overflowing with writing ideas, but Bev will make me shut down in an hour and we will enjoy the rest of the day together.

      bill

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      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      My friend, I felt you in these words today. You wear your mask well. As you have so eloquently pointed out though, it is ALL about choice. We make the right one, we dance. It is never black and white though, is it? Thus, the sweet melancholy. Beautifully expressed!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joseph, thank you for sharing that personal experience. Also, thank you for being so active in the H.O.W. movement....we have stated something wonderful and it feels so good to know there are so many of us who care. I appreciate you greatly.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, it is, indeed, a wonderful community, and I am blessed to know all of you.

      love always,

      bill

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      Joseph De Cross 4 years ago

      Hi Billy, life is truly full of melancholic thoughts; one minute we smile and the other minute we just burst into tears. I remember very well what happened back in 1969, with the space program, Vietnam and Nixon. My dad died in 2006, just 8 hours before I made it to him to say, at least, good bye. All I found was a notebook with poetry and words. His new wife told me that he couldn't take in his heart the fact that I was coming to see him that day. Besides he had an advanced stage of lung cancer. Glad to see you jumping of joy and feeling a little better after writing this hub. Thanks for all you do for us in here, and around the world.

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      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Thank you for your, yet another lovely, comment back to me. Yes, my strong faith gets my through these storms of life, and I have learned to cherish each day here with loved ones and friends, such as yourself, who I do consider to be a wonderful friend here on HP. There are so many wonderful friends here, in this loving community on HP.

      Blessings and HUGS your way.

      In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Faith! I know this is such a hard time of the year for so many. I wanted to give everyone a reason to celebrate and find joy in the losses we have all experienced.

      I am sending love and positive thoughts to you this season. I love your faith, and I am positive that your faith is grounded on a reality that you know inside of yourself....the healing is occurring and all will be well....your faith has given me faith, and that is a wonderful gift.

      Thank you for being who you are.

      love,

      bill

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      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Dearest Bill,

      I hope this comment goes through, as I have been commenting on Joseph's (Lord De Cross) hubs this morning and they are not going through, but then finally some have. One still has not gone through?

      Anyway, thank you for the beautiful heartfelt piece here this day. My dad died way back in '89 from a stroke, and my son was born just the year before, so my son grew up without knowing his real grandfather, which makes me melancholy when I think about it. My mother is 84, so she has never remarried and that has been 23 years ago already, wow time does fly. And right now, during this Christmas season, with my sweet mother so very sick, and her birthday on December 16th, is when she will turn 84, makes me a little melancholy. I pray that I will have the best Christmas present ever for my sweet mother to be well at Christmas and a lot stronger too. Plus, I will know next week after the CT scan whether or not the large blood clots in both of my lungs have been absorbed into my body! If so, that will be even another great Christmas present. I know in my heart they are gone. These things are just all a part of this thing we call life we all have to go through. We all should be mindful to cherish the times we have we our loved ones, as each and every minute counts. And I know you already know that fact very well.

      Bless you for writing this piece as it is very appropriate, especially for this time of year. It seems for some reason this time of year brings on a lot of sickness in families, etc.

      In His Love, Faith Reaper

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Wow, Tom, that was beautiful! I hope that story is true about the butterfly, because it makes a great metaphor. Thank you for sharing that, and thank you for sharing kindness this morning. I greatly appreciate you!

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      Tom Koecke 4 years ago from Tacoma, Washington

      A butterfly struggles tremendously to emerge from its cocoon. The struggle is so great that for a while it must rest and it can only serve as prey. However, if the butterfly is cut from the cocoon, it will die. It is the tremendous struggle that gives it the strength to flutter off and fulfill its purpose in life.

      I don't know if it's true, but it makes a good story! It also serves to illustrate how much of your wisdom has been obtained through your struggles.

      I'd say I'm sorry that you had to struggle so much in life, but I wouldn't trade your struggles for your wisdom. We are lucky that you share those with us.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, I have been where you are, with the unresolved issues.....I am quite happy where I am now. I didn't resolve all issues; I simply chose to concentrate on the good that I could remember. Thank you and have a wonderful weekend my friend.

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      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      I think life is a daily journey..Somedays things are together and some days not. Working on good emotional health is a works in progress. You brought back some memories of relationships never to be salvaged. One in particular..my mother and I were not in a good place. The night before she died she called me (rare occurence) and we had a nice conversation..She called me right back and asked me if I hung up on her..I said I never would do that and wanted the best for her. She died that night...Unfortunately many relationships don't get resolved and it seems like the holiday time brings out the old demons...That is what I deal with now. However, you are lucky to find or shall I say put yourself in a place of remembering joyful times..and that is the best part.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Beckie, I have Irish in my blood, and my family often talked about the old Irish wakes. I thought it was a wonderful tradition, even when I was a kid. That's who I want my death celebrated.....not mourned, but celebrated.

      I am just grateful, Beckie, that I have learned enough lessons to fully appreciate life. Sure there are ups and downs, but man oh man, what a great ride. :)

      I love you, Beckie! Take that to the bank. I love your spirit, your compassion, and your appreciation for life. We may never meet, but the love and respect are real.

      love,

      billy

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      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      I hope you dance, do a jig, and kick your heals up at every opportunity. You seem to have a full understanding as to the perfect way of handling lifes ups and downs. Like most, it took many years of internal struggle for you to reach this pinnacle but what a pinnacle it is.

      I am impressed at your knowledge of an old fashion Irish wake. My Mom and Nana often spoke of the years when their loved ones were laid out in the home. The body was never left unattended overnight and the festivities started as soon as word got around. It was quite common (at least in my family's tradition) to seat or stand the deceased and toast a drink to them. I often remark what a great way to celebrate someones life.

      Our family still practices the infusing of hysterically funny stories of the deceased at every wake service. It never really occurred to me until reading this hub what a great tradition that is. We only recently lost my Uncle and his four boys got up there to tell stories. By the time they were finished, my belly hurt from laughing so hard. I realized in that moment that they had wasted their talents when they should have been stand up comedians. And I would much rather have tears from laughter than tears of sorrow running down my cheeks (the ones on my face).

      You are a wonderful soul with a great attitude and outlook on life. I realize the sacrifices and losses you've dealt with along the way but what a great point you have succeeded in reaching. It sort of puts everything in perspective.

      Love Beckie XO