Douglas Fairbanks, Sr & Lady Sylvia Ashley at the Dorchester, London 1938
I’ll have a Blue Christmas without you
I’ll be so blue just thinking about you
Decorations of red on a green Christmas tree
Won’t be the same dear, if you’re not here with me
And when those blue snowflakes start falling
That’s when those blue memories start calling
You’ll be doin’ all right, with your Christmas of white
But I’ll have a blue, blue blue blue Christmas
It’s been an entire month since my last post. I’ve been in a bit of a funk swimming through grief, but I’m just beginning to feel a little more like myself. And it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
The holidays can be a tough time when you’re grieving. Hell, it can be tough when you’re not. All that hype and expectation, all those charged family gatherings and tortured past memories. A lot of suicides happen this time of year, as do deaths. The elderly seem to exit during the cold winter months. I thought I might lose Gam somewhere around Thanksgiving or Christmas, but sadly she left sooner. And I’m at loose ends.
It’s not that I’m a huge holiday person—I’m not. But Gam was. And as I watched her fade the last few years, I knew our time together was limited. So I spent as many of the holidays as I could with her, creating a festiveness to bring her comfort and joy. But now that she’s gone, I’m a little lost.
We all can bring to mind someone we miss. It’s inevitable. Silky lost the love of her life, Douglas Fairbanks Senior, in the middle of the night seventy-five years ago today on December 11th, 1939. I imagine it was the bluest Christmas of her entire life.
Last weekend I attended a concert at the Masonic Temple at Hollywood Forever Cemetery where both Silky and Fairbanks are buried. It was a holiday show featuring the Living Sisters and actually got me into the spirit of the season with an old-fashioned swing vibe and four-part harmonies. They had a few guest performers, one of whom was the actor, John C. Reilly. He has an exquisite voice and did a rendition of Elvis’ Blue Christmas that had me in tears. I’ve been humming it ever since.
The only way out is through, so I suppose I’ll just have to lean on friends for support this season and sit with the pain. Perhaps dirty martinis with three bleu cheese olives will help turn mine into a bleu Christmas.