Peace family, grieving can be especially painful during the holidays. Gary Roe, chaplain with Hospice Brazos Valley, is going to be checking in with us for the next several weeks, and he has some tips for healing and making it through the holidays.
Gary says Christmas can be a great time of year, but it can also be a tough time of year, especially for those who have lost a loved one in the last couple of years, or if they’ve lost a loved one over the holidays, it doesn’t seem to matter how many years go by; the holidays are tough!
We’ve talked a little bit about important things like, if you’ve lost a loved one, please, give yourself permission to grieve over the holidays. It’s okay to be sad. We’ve talked about lowering our expectations a little bit, knowing that we’re very conscious of who’s missing, and that this holiday will be different from any other. Being kind to ourselves and patient with ourselves is really important. We talked about getting around people who are helpful to you right now, and limiting your exposure to those who aren’t or maybe are judging or critical, because that certainly doesn’t help us when we’re grieving.
Today, we’re going to make a simple plan of how to remember and honor your loved one over the holidays, to actually, intentionally include them in your Christmas celebration. You won’t be able to keep them out; you’re thinking about who’s absent, and you might even be thinking about them ALL of the time. Here are two quick ways that you can include them in your holiday. First of all, speak their name. Speak it out loud, and speak it often. Let yourself hear their name, because there’s something very powerful about a person’s name. Speak their name
Second, tell their stories. Talk about them to anyone who will listen. Share, share, and share some more. Yes, this will be emotional, and yes, you will probably cry, but it will also be good, because you are expressing your grief, which is also expressing your love. Speak their name, and tell their story.
If you aren’t grieving this Christmas, please, be aware that the person next to you might be. Someone might look fine on the outside, but inside, they are heartbroken or crushed. Be ready to be merciful, kind and compassionate. Be ready to listen, and if you’re willing, simply ask them, “What do you miss? Would you tell me about them?” and then, listen.
If you’re grieving, remember that Jesus walks with you in your grief and pain. He knows all about it, and he “gets” it.
God bless you. He loves you so much. Merry Christmas.
You can find more details to help get through the holidays and get through them well by going to Gary Roe’s website, HERE, or copy and paste this link into your browser: https://www.garyroe.com/
Click below to listen to Gary chat with Peace 107’s Brian and Kat: