Merry Christmas

The latest ornament additions to our Christmas tree, made with love by Dawn and her parents.

What follows is an editorial I wrote last year at about this time. My community had been suffering following the deaths of several people that had died too soon. I thought maybe my words would help ease one person’s pain, even if it was only for a minute. I copied it to my blog at the time. . .

*****
For everyone that is feeling the excruciating pain that the loss of a loved one brings this Christmas, please know that you are not alone- not to rejoice because others are hurting, but to take comfort in the fact that others understand your pain and grief.

It was just over a decade ago that my grandpa died on Christmas Eve. Not that he really had any control over his time of death, but, I believe in my heart that he knew Christmas Eve was the only time the entire family would be together. We all got to be with him that night as he slowly faded. He couldn’t have chosen a more perfect time to die- surrounded by the ones that loved the him most. He wouldn’t have had it any other way. And while the memories are still painful, they are peaceful as well. We all still miss him immensely.

I came across the following words last night in book called The In-Between by 
Erica Staab. It’s an incredible and powerful short little book about the journey we take when we are in the process of healing from the depths of the pain and grief 
that only the loss of a loved one brings.

“When I listen closely I can hear your heart breaking, I don’t have to know what caused you such pain, what tears at the fabric of your heart. I can feel how deep your loss is, I can see the tears held behind your eyes. I can hear the catch in your voice when you say “I’m fine.”


Although all of our journeys look different-

often they begin in the same place-
that of torn faith, of a shattered heart,
of a moment in time where the world stopped
and where life seemed to stand still…” 


For everyone reeling from the pain of a lost loved one this Christmas, take comfort in the love that family and friends bring. Know that at sometime in the future, you will be okay. Take comfort in the fact that you are never alone.

Peace and love to everyone this season and Merry Christmas. 
Wrap yourselves in the arms of your loved ones and rejoice.

*****

At the time I wrote this I was thinking particularly of my good friends that had lost their infant son a few months before as well as two other friends that had just lost their husbands to cancer. Besides those deaths, my daughter’s best childhood friend had just lost her mom when she was hit by a drunk driver and a another good friend of my kids was killed in a hunting accident. There had also been a host of others in the community that had passed. My heart was so incredibly heavy at the time. Little did I know that a short eight months later it would be our family and friends that would be the ones reeling from the agonizing pain and grief of sudden death. Little did I know that we would be the ones with shattered hearts struggling to face our first Christmas with a gaping hole in our family. And, yet, we are not alone

Sadly, since my mom, sister-in-law, and niece were killed in August, my dear friend Julie (whose mom is also a dear friend of mine) was killed in a car accident and another dear friend lost her first grandchild. And still there have been others. More families that are reeling from the pain of death. More families that are attempting to move forward with shattered hearts. . .

Although the next couple of days will be extremely difficult for us, we’ll somehow manage. We’ll tell stories, eat too much, and laugh until our sides ache–despite the fact that our hearts are broken. We will go on.  

We will go on with hope for brighter days, with love for one another, and with joy (and sorrow) in our hearts. Even though it’s so difficult right now to look ahead to the next chapter, our family’s story has so much more to be written. 

Make you have a blessed, joyous, and peaceful holiday season. Take comfort in the love that family and friends bring. Take comfort in the fact that you are never alone. Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas. With love. . . 


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