As the end of the year approaches, everywhere we turn someone is telling us we should be happy. “Merry Christmas” or “Happy New Year.”
But for those who’ve recently lost a loved one, the holidays can seem more like something to survive than to enjoy. The events around the holidays and traditions can make those who are grieving miss their loved ones even more, and it can be painful and sad.
We can’t fix our loved ones as they grieve, but we can still comfort them during the holidays. I read this great article about “desiring God.” I hope this will give you some pointers if you have someone who has lost a loved one this holiday.
1. If you’ve invited someone who is grieving to your holiday event, let them know that you understand if it seems too hard at the last minute and they have to cancel, or that they may only be able to stay for a short time.
2. If you’re going to an event, give a grieving person a call and ask if you can pick her up and stick with her throughout the event for support. When you come upon a grieving person at a holiday social event, let him know that you are still thinking about the person he loves who has died, and invite him to talk about his memories with that person.
3. It is a great gift to let grieving people know that they don’t have to be embarrassed by their tears around you — that they are welcome to cry with you. An even greater gift is to shed tears of your own over the loss of the person they love. Your tears reflect the worth of the person who died and assure them that they are not alone in missing that person. Tears do not always reflect a lack of faith. Tears are a gift from God that help to wash away the deep pain of loss.
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” — Revelation 21:4
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