Experts in grief often talk about the “firsts” being the most difficult to go through as a grieving person. There is some truth to this, but grief doesn’t have an end date. To believe that you will not experience those deep feelings of loss in the years that follow, especially during significant times of the year, is unrealistic.
Christmas is a powerful time because it’s all about relationships – one of the few times of the year that most people make a big effort to get together. The person whom you want there is still not there after two, five or even ten years. You still remember. You still miss. It’s okay.
It’s important to hold on to a few special traditions that have been part of your life previously and help remember that special person.
Our children still make their Mom’s favorite Christmas cookies, put up the memory tree Christmas decorations and bring out the special Christmas books she used to read them as children.
Memories flood in like tidal waves. Love is felt deeply. A relationship of significance is still remembered and the opportunity to talk about hope found in Jesus is shared. This is all good.
How will you remember your loved one this year? What will you do? What traditions help you to remember this person? How might hope be a part of your experience?