Three years ago, during the holidays, my dad passed away. The last time I saw Dad was on Christmas Day. He died on the morning of the new year. As many of you know, my dad had Alzheimer’s disease. His death was not unexpected and, in a way, it was welcomed. He would never, ever have wanted the last decade of his life to have rolled out the way it did. Plus, Dad had an unwavering belief in Heaven. His death was a release of his earthly, diseased shell.
“In His presence is the fullness of joy” (Psalm 16:11).
We all believed that verse to be true for our dad.
And yet . . . and yet . . . the holidays hold a tinge of sadness. Off stage, tucked away in the shadows, but grief is there.
It occurred to me how hard the holidays must be for so many after a major life event—those who are divorced, who are grieving, who are heartbroken.
I found a couple of things that helped:
- Dwell on the promises and reassurances of Scripture: “Emmanuel, God is with us.” You are not alone in your sorrow.
- Surround yourself with those you love. Don’t isolate! On January 1st, my brother hosted a get together and we had a toast for Dad. It’s become a yearly thing. And very comforting!
Next Christmas, reach out to someone whom you know who has faced recent loss. Send a card, invite them over, go on a walk together.
It’s a funny thing about blessing another—the blessing returns to you.
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