I wrote this blog a while back but wanted to repost it based on the people around me who have had a horrible year, losing significant people in their lives and who will never to be the same.
This holiday is different. There's an empty chair. It's not the same.
Tradition constantly changes through death and birth. Each Christmas Eve we would go to my mom's after church service. When we had children, the stay wasn't as long. Then my mom died and Christmas Eve was never the same. New locations, new traditions, new people (babies), less people (death)...the cycle of life.
My heart truly goes out to all of you that have lost a loved one and have to go through these holidays without them. So many of you have lost grandparents, parents, children and friends recently. Many of you are still in a fog. The memories of the lost person multiply based on the shared memories of this season. It's extremely difficult to process this throughout the year, let alone the holidays!
Some of you know of someone who is dealing with this right now. I want to encourage you to do all you can for those grieving this year. Reach out to them. Pray for them. Be there for them. Talk about their loss - the good memories you have or open the door for them to talk about it. Let's not tip toe around someone who is grieving. Let's love them. We cannot fathom what they are feeling. even if we also lost someone. Every hurt feels different.
Most people (not all) want to talk about their loved one they lost. Most, based on my experience, do not want to go about their lives as if nothing happened. For us on the outside, that's the easy way. We can just "sweep it under the rug" and avoid a possibly emotional conversation. But that's not beneficial. You can be different. You can help them in this process. Maybe you've been through this already-if that's the case, you're the perfect person to help them here.
Before I lost my parents, I was not someone who helped others grieve. Some of it was because I didn't know what it felt like. I never experienced this type of loss before. Some of it, quite frankly, was selfishness. It didn't affect me so I didn't have to deal with it. Sorry, but that's who I was before Christ.
So I leave you with this list of asks:
- Remember those who have lost loved ones
- Reach out to them
- Encourage them
- Be there for them
- Talk to them about their loss
- LOVE them
This will be a very difficult holiday season for too many. Let's do what we can to help them.
Most people are in need of a Christmas presence, not so much the Christmas presents.