Union Ridge Church

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

by Reverend Dan on December 8, 2021
Last week I wrote about the increase in counseling that the stress of this season brings. Far and away, the largest contributor to this is the fact that for many, this will be their first Christmas without someone they love. Learning to find the joy of the season amidst the grief of death can be overwhelming.

Through the years I have realized there are two things in life that change you more than anything else: love and grief. And once they change you, you are never the same. You can’t go back to life as you knew it for once you experience one of these things, the person you were has been changed forever. Therefore, when love and grief collide – when you lose someone you love – your pain is deeper and more intense, and you have to redefine who you are without that person, and how your life – and you – will forever be different.
My holiday grief advice for everyone this year is simple. If this season hurts and is hard for you, that’s ok. Don’t beat up on yourself for not being in the “Christmas spirit.” Don’t be embarrassed when tears well up in your eyes for what seems like no reason. But in the midst of that grief, as you learn to look back with joy and cherish the memories, don’t live there. Look ahead, for that’s where life will be taking you whether you want to go or not.

There are many things the people around you – and maybe even you – are grieving now. Death hasn’t cornered the market on grief. We all grieve in many ways for many things. In our lives there will be joy . . . and there will be sorrow. There will be times of great victories . . . and moments of debilitating defeat. There will be mountaintop experiences . . . and you’ll spend time in the valley. There will be the exhilaration of life . . . and the mystery of death. In those moments when the darkness of grief wants to rob you of your joy, remember that "weeping may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning . . . for we do not grieve as those who have no hope."​​​​​​​