Holidays are hard for many.
They have been hard on my mother since her parents passed on to their Heavenly home. Her mother taught her the importance of family and they were so very close. I have to readily and happily recognize that my grandmother was a very special lady. (And I use that term in context of gender and person.) Holidays are even more difficult for her now that my brother has been gone from this life a year.
It has been almost four years since my husband died suddenly so far from home. Even as I have somewhat adjusted, there is still that absence. I still carry on our odd tradition of wandering around in that big box store on Christmas Eve. I still look at shirts that I know would look good on him, reds and blues were his best colors. I try to donate gifts in his name. I can’t buy for him, but I can remember him through giving.
I glanced around yesterday while at my folk’s for dinner. Years past we gathered in the house. Tables shoved together to make room. So many generations were represented then. Yesterday, as we gathered together in the outside building were we could have plenty of running space for the young and distance from each other safely, I noticed how many were gone.
Holidays are hard.
Especially now. We have dealt with an insane year. Trying to face and make it through things many have never faced and all never wish to face again. We have lost so much in so many ways. The saddest being so many lives taken from us. We look now at the empty spaces at the table. That empty bed. The phone calls that will never come, echoing in our memory. Our hearts ache and long for something never to come again in this life.
If I could give a gift, it would be of comfort.
That even as we suffer a hurt and longing so deep, we can find a calm. That we can reach a gentle peace within that eases the pain that has taken a grip on our heart and life. A comfort like a warm blanket on a cold night, the morning sun after the dark, a cool drink for the thirsty and a hot meal for the hungry.
I do know, that finding comfort in the pain, takes time. I’ve said it, my husband has been gone just a few months short of four years, while the agonizing pain of his passing has eased, it still shows up from time to time. Now, not so much as pain, but a cherished memory. It is a process for all, and all will process and heal in their own way and time.
It is not only loss through death that brings pain.
A breakdown of family ties.
A loss of job, or home.
Watching a family member slowly leave through dementia or physical disease.
Yes, that is only a few ways, the causes of pain are vast. The need for comfort many.
Christmas Day has passed for this year. Gifts exchanged, time has been spent when possible with family and friends. But let us not stop giving, let us not think that time for that is done. Giving, is an every day, every moment thing. Especially when it comes to comforting those who suffer pain.
Recognize too that there are those who suffer silently. They do not reach out. They do not speak of the pain. They seek to keep it hidden for reason they alone know. Use the eyes and compassion of your heart to see those people and reach out in ways that will extend comfort. Draw them gently into the light of comfort, peace and healing. Remember, to allow them to move in their time.
If I could give a gift, it would be comfort for those who suffer, from any of the pains they suffer with.
If I could give a gift, it would be also to point the way to words of comfort. Words given to remind, to ease, to help. Yet they are not merely words, but reminders, ways, guidance. This Word lives within our heart and heals in ways like none other. Especially when we allow those words to bring us to their source.