Every Wednesday

Every Wednesday I will post something about grief. Sometimes it will be a reflection on an aspect of grief’s landscape. Now and then I will share from my own journey of grief, because in the sharing of our stories we find strength and build a community of people that support one another.

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Holidays and Sharing

This is for brother Francesco, who lost his wife; 
and for Shirley, who lost her husband recently and will be going through the Christmas holidays for the first time alone; 
and for others I will not name yet keep close in my heart and mind.

The holidays are upon us and it is a joyful time of year for many people. But for those who grieve, the holidays hold sadness because their loved ones are not with them. Some people have no one to spend holidays with and their loneliness is compounded by the endless parade of happy advertisements and music playing around town that proclaim joy and peace and loving relationships.

Messages in church often speak of celebrating the long-awaited hope being here, while neglecting to mention that in that Biblical world, it would take thirty years after the birth of Jesus for him to grow up and bring joy to that society, and that in our world there are many on Christmas Eve who are hungry, cold, and alone.
In this season of great joy, look around. There are people for whom the holidays are not happy, people who have family problems, health struggles, job issues, and worries that drain their hope that their lives will ever get better. They need to know that someone cares. Nobody is immune.

Share whatever compassion you have. Share whatever you feel comfortable giving, for we are members of the same community. 
Thinking that the little we could do isn’t important isn’t a valid excuse for doing nothing. Even a little gift coming out of the blue is a big deal to someone who has nothing.

A hot cup of coffee on a cold day makes the next hour bearable. 

The gift of a meal means energy and warmth that will last hours.  

A letter or phone call to people who can’t leave the house lets them know that others still consider them part of their community.

For every gift you receive, do something for someone else.  The message of good news that comes this season is that it has come for everyone.

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