December 10, 2018
Last week I promised that during December I would write about coping with grief during the holidays, when others are joyful and we are dealing with such sadness. This week I will share parts from a chapter of my book on this subject.
How do we who suffer wrap ourselves in the plush blanket of Christmas warmth when we are wrapped in frigid darkness? How do we see candlelight clearly through tears? How do we decorate a Christmas tree or a Christmas table when red and green has faded to grey? How do we gather together when the gathering does not include everyone we were sure would always be there?
The answer we can reach for is a change of focus, turning our mental cameras away from the empty chair and toward the source of Light who is the source of the holiday. This is not a matter of trying to forget or disregard a loved one, just a change of emphasis.
Whether we are observing Thanksgiving by giving thanks to God for our many blessings, observing Christmas by gathering and sharing in Jesus’ name, or observing the New Year by looking forward to another year of God’s presence in our lives, we can focus on the Light of the World and His power to overcome death and darkness. He will wrap His loving arms around every gathering and every hurting soul.
The important things are to avoid rejecting the holidays and to avoid allowing grief to isolate us at a time when we need others. Remember that when Jesus walked on earth, he focused on the people and their needs for hope and understanding. We can walk at the speed of Light during the holidays by following His example, reaching out, offering hope and giving generously to those who need our love. Read the scriptures, find a kindred soul to pray with, attend a religious service, and warm your hands and heart at the hearth fire of Jesus’ Love and Light.