When Death Greets Your Holidays


As we move into the Christmas season, many of us are enjoying the family, fun, and fellowship that come with the holidays.. We are reuniting with friends and relatives that we haven't seen for a while,  We are reacquainting ourselves with our favorite stores and restaurants even as the Covid epidemic rages on. (Or shopping and ordering meals online). We are finding peace with it all as we try to establish our new normal. Yet, for some of us, the Christmas season is a cruel reminder of loved ones lost. And for some reason, the number of deaths from November through December, seem to be rising. And not just from Covid, but from heart attacks, cancer, and devastating accidents. Almost everyday, I see on Facebook that a friend has lost a beloved family member, or they are mourning the loss of a close friend. This will make the Christmas season, for them, a time of tragedy instead of joy.

I'd like to share a post from a good friend, Sonia Williams-Babers, who is experiencing such a loss. Her words, and the original source, Euna Mae's (Facebook page), may bring comfort to those who are caught between grief and the joy of the season.


I have had lots of conversations with people lately who are hurting, suffering, enduring hard circumstances. People who are fearful, scared, unsure. People who are experiencing slander, injustice, unfairness. People who are heartbroken, lonely, and despairing. People who are shaken. People who need to be reminded that there is hope. Not hope in the universe or karma or that everything will just turn out okay. Not hope in abilities or skills. Not lawyers or doctors or that the right strings will be pulled. Not in a follower count, a bank account, or an opportunity. Not hope in people's opinions, strangers' reviews, or the applause of the world. Not in a man, a woman, a friendship, a relationship, a roommate, and certainly not in the waivering goodwill of mankind.

The One who is faithful. The One who is sure. The One who is steady and holds. The One who guides and gives wisdom. The One who protects and provides. The One who holds our days. The One whose love is deep and wide and boundless, fierce and kind. The One who knows what we need and when we need it. The One who satisfies. The One whose promises are true. So if you are in need of hope or know someone who does, I'm sharing some of my favorite promises of God because He is where our hope is found. And He who promised is faithful.
These are the promises of God:

I WILL BE WITH YOU. Deuteronomy 31:8
  The Lord Himself will go before you. He will be with you. He will not leave you or forget about you.
I WILL PROTECT YOU. (Psalm 121:7-8)
The Lord will guard your life. The Lord will protect you as you come and go, both now and forevermore.
Do not worry, because I am with you. Don't be afraid because I am your God. I will make you strong.
I WILL SHOW YOU THE WAY. (Psalm 32:8 and Proverbs 3:5-6)
I will make you wise. I will show you where to go. I will guide you and watch over you.
I WILL GIVE YOU PEACE (Isaiah 26:3, Philippians 4:6-7)
You, Lord, give true peace. You give peace to those who trust you. Peace that guards our hearts and minds.
Five years ago, I lost my husband of forty-one years to a debilitating disease. He died on Father's Day, and with the help of family and friends, I managed to get through the first few months. But I knew the holidays would be tough, even surrounded by my sons and grandchildren. Before they arrived, I shopped for them as usual, filling the house with food and gifts. My mantra, all along, had been to keep busy. I found my solace in journaling, first writing down my prayers. I turned over 800 pages of journals into my fifth book, Seasons: My Journey through Grief.  Here is an excerpt on surviving the holidays.
Christmas is not only a season to celebrate, but a season, both literally and figuratively, that everybody who has lost someone, must endure. To survive without breaking down into an emotional mess, you must keep busy. You must have purpose and commitment to accomplish a mission each day. You must try to put your own sadness aside and think of ways to bring happiness to others. You must keep yourself so busy that you don't have time to think about who isn't there or what might have been. This is the only way to get through it.
And if you cry, even in front of people, that's okay. They will understand. Tears are God's way of cleansing the soul, a way of releasing the sorrow. The Roman poet Ovid wrote this around 13 B.C.: "Tears go through the heart, even like stream... Tears, at times, have the weight of speech."  My favorite Bible verse regarding grief is this:
For his anger endureth but a moment, in his favor is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. (Psalm 30:5)
So know that there is hope. There is sunshine after the rain. Cherish your memories of the one you have lost, and share the joy of the present with those who are with you. Appreciate all that you have been given, and make the most of each day you have with the ones you love. May you have peace, love and joy in your life this holiday season.
The holidays are difficult for so many who've lost family. Journaling brought me comfort after losing my husband. Here is the landing page for my last book, Seasons, My Journey through Grief. https://www.seasonedyou.com/33723/seasons-my-journey-through-grief/index.html.   The first chapter, "Father's Day," also appears on this website. Grief, like life, has its own set of seasons. We all will eventually face them head-on, in our own time and at our own pace. No matter what our loss, we must learn how to endure and survive our seasons in order to live fully again. If you've lost a loved one, this book is for you.  Available on Amazon in ebook & paperback, https://amzn.to/2MDQSjP