Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Born on Christmas Day

He was born on this day. 
Seventy-seven years ago. 

Christmas day was always a day of celebration in my house: A day to give thanks for the gift of my father’s birth, a day to wrap presents and cook special meals, a day to bake black forest cake with cherries. We used to say the whole world celebrated his birth, and I always believed it.

There will be no celebration this year. No pictures taken by the fireplace. No hugs. No kisses. No shrimp in garlic sauce for dinner, no sweet potatoes, no almonds covered in dark chocolate with green tea. No returns the following day for the sweaters that didn’t fit, or the pants that where too long.

Six months have passed since he left us, and he keeps visiting me in my dreams on a daily basis. Does my subconscious refuse his passing? Of course it does! Do I cry out of the blue sometimes? No doubt I do! Does the belief that he is in a better place make it easier? No, it does not!

There will be silence in my house this year. Prayers and reflections, memories told and old pictures shared. There will be fasting, too.

Lilas Taha is a novelist, winner of the 2017 International Book Awards  and is the author of Shadows of Damascus and Bitter Almonds.


  1. Deepest condolences, Lilas. I know what it means to lose a father. When my father died someone told me it would take me two years to get over it. She was wrong. But after three decades without him, I know that the scars of grief sealed him deeper into my heart. May your heart heal in time.

    1. Gay Yellen, Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I wonder if one ever heals from a loss like that, when a father is more than a parent, but a friend and a companion. May your heart find peace.


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