Next week, Thanksgiving 2019 will kickoff a brand new holiday season. As a Christian, it’s a special time of year for me. I’ve always believed that a grateful heart is a joyful heart, and my mother taught me that, if I have God and family, I have everything. Many of us have lost loved ones, which makes holidays, particularly Christmas, a difficult time of year. This is especially true when such losses have occurred suddenly or unexpectedly.
Coping with loss at Christmas time
If you’re missing someone this Christmas, this post is for you. The man who made the beautiful video I’m about to share lost his precious daughter. Her name was Annie. He says that stumbling across a special song on Facebook brought him comfort. It helped him and his wife find the encouragement they needed to move on in life without their beloved child.
Music is like that because it can soothe souls. It is my hope that, if you’re hurting because you lost someone you love, this song will be a balm for your weary heart. After the video, you’ll find some helpful ideas for coping with loss during the holidays. Not only do I wish these thoughts to comfort you but I also hope you will share this post with someone else in need.
Wasn’t that beautiful? When I think of my dad and brother spending Christmas (and every day) with the Son of God, I smile. The babies I lost, dear friends, two sisters-in-law, grandparents and more — it’s comforting to think of them rejoicing with the angels. I hope that, when you think of your special someone, this song gives you hope as well as peace of mind.
Ideas that might help you this Christmas
It’s not uncommon for feelings of guilt to arise as you enter the Christmas season after a loved one’s death. Remember that it is okay to feel sad without him or her. It’s also okay to feel joy and to be happy. That’s the tough part to learn. If you’re missing someone special this holiday season, consider these ideas:
- Perhaps, you’d like to create a special display to honor the memory of your loved one. You can place a special photo near some of his or her favorite ornaments or personal items. Add some twinkle lights, candles or whatever you like to remember the love you shared and to celebrate Christmas in his or her honor.
- Did your loved one have a favorite charity or special cause that was important to him or her? Why not give that organization a Christmas donation in his or her memory?
- Allow yourself time to navigate the roller-coaster of emotions you might be feeling. Cry if you need to, rest, take a walk, look at old photographs, etc., and remember that you don’t always have to feel like you’ve got it all together.
- Was there a special place you and your loved one used to like to go together? Making a visit there in his or her honor this Christmas might bring joy to your heart.
- If you’re gathering with family or friends who share in your sorrow, you can each wrap a small gift to place under the tree. Inside each gift, write a favorite memory you have of your loved one, then take time to open the gifts together and share the memories.
Moving on in life after a loved one has died isn’t easy. I don’t think the sorrow ever goes away although it does become manageable with time. At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Christ, who promised to make all things new.
As we celebrate our Infant King this year, let us trust that the loved ones who have gone before us are basking in the joy of His promise, fulfilled! Let us also ask for their prayers to guide us as we continue our own life journeys. Finally, let us encourage and support others, who, like us, are missing loved ones this Christmas.