Friday, October 7, 2011

GRIEF: A Decembered Grief. 31 Days of Christmas Wonder (day 7)

Christmas is a time for family and friends, so experiencing an empty seat at our Christmas table is tough. And for some families the grief is so fresh and real, they wonder about celebrating Christmas, at all.

Do you remember the scene in You've Got Mail where Kathleen Kelly (played by Meg Ryan) is decorating the Christmas tree and says, "I miss my mom so much  that I can hardly breath." I can tell from the comments, that some of us are right there this holiday season.

When my friend lost her husband suddenly in a plane accident, she still had young children at home. She recommends A Decembered Grief: Living with Loss while others are Celebrating, by Harold Smith. This book helped her be intentional about what their first Christmas would look like.

I love this passage from the book and I read it every December:

         "After experiencing grief, loss and death, I have come to believe
            in a Christmas that cannot be limited to 24 hours on the 25th
            of December. I have come to believe in a future Christmas 
            when all God's children will be home. I have come to believe
            that in our first moments in heaven we will realize how much  
            He (Jesus Christ) gave up to spend those years among us,  
            to invite us to spend forever with Him. I believe that His   
            coming locked this world into a loving embrace and that this  
            December season, He will be as close as our grief allows."

Would you join me in praying for family and friends that are experiencing deep loss and grief as we prepare to enter this holiday season?

image credit: book            


  1. I love this too. And, yes, of course I'll join you in praying - for you and the many others affected by loss. That paragraph is incredibly poignant. I really like it.


  2. Glenda,

    This is a very thoughtful post. You are right, Christmas can be a painful time for some people. Thank you for this reminder..and I will be praying for those experiencing grief this year.


  3. Glenda, a needed reminder. Holiday's are never same when we lose a loved one. Love the quote and the hope of a future Christmas when we will all be home!

  4. I love that you are covering all aspects of Christmas and loss & grief & disappointment are a part...and I love the hope that one day we will all be home for Christmas one day. I think I will also seek out this book -- perhaps for my sister as she heads into her second Christmas without her husband...

  5. Oh yes Glenda. The year after I lost my husband was the most difficult. Every year is a challenge though. We must move forward though for our children and grandchildren.

    Art by Karena

  6. This is a great idea. So thoughtful. We so easily get caught up in our Christmases and forget what others' are like. Thanks for the reminder.

  7. Christmas can be one of the most depressing time of the year for some especially those that have lost a loved one. The "firsts" are always the hardest and although months may have passed since one's passing the holiday's seem to slap you in the face with a hit of reality. Thank you for this post ~ as others have said it is very thoughtful and I will keep others in my thoughts and prayers.

  8. Early December each
    year I send an angel
    ornament to friends who
    have lost someone dear
    over the course of the year,
    to acknowledge that first
    Christmas their loved one
    is in heaven. Sadly, this
    year I will be shopping for
    four angels. It means a lot
    to the recipient to know a
    friend remembers and cares.
    Our minister says Christmas
    intensifies emotions, both happy
    and sad and he is ot on. Great
    reminder, Glenda, to be gentle
    with one another at this time.
    xx Suzanne

  9. That's SPOT on.
    Looking forward to
    getting my own computer;
    not used to this keyboard!
    xx S.

  10. Yes, I will pray. The little country church near us has a special Christmas ceremony. Each year, an ornament is made for those who have died in the community and, at a candlelight ceremony, each name is called out loud and a family member hangs the ornament on the tree.
    They are not forgotten, they are keeping seats warm for those left behind.


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