Tag Archives: Grieving during the holidays

Christmas 2018

28 Dec

My friend, Pam has lived for 13 years without her much loved husband, Bill by her side. She shares her love and positive personality in her church WIdow’s ministry and also serves on the bereavement committee as a coordinator. When she emailed this to me, I was honored to be allowed to read her intimate thoughts. I asked permission to share it on our blog-Onisha




Christmas 2018

by Pam Gheen

I don’t normally write those Christmas letters that people place in their Christmas cards each year; mostly I don’t even get my Christmas cards out in the mail; maybe next year!

I especially don’t write or talk about the sad, deep things one may think about at Christmas.  I am a widow of 13 years, and I certainly should have moved on when it comes to “Christmas milestone sadness”. But……

But you know what? – our Christian journey, until we end it in Heaven, is alive and changing each day. Perfect healing for sadness comes daily if we need it!

Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can’t heal”  Irish Poet-Thomas Moore


This Christmas, I deal with my emotions, as each one needs to do.

The house is quiet but my thoughts are not.  My fingers are itching to say something with words.

Think on this thought: God made us human and we feel feelings, we ponder the past, and we have empathy for others. Thank You God!  

I think of the little page that comes up on the computer, when I shop on-line, “I am not a Robot”! Check that little box on that little page and say you’re not-NOT made of hardness and steel, but made with a pliable, caring heart.

Maybe your normal tendency is to “shove down” and “ignore” the very attributes of our humanness, our “made in the image of God” capability to love, to embrace loss, and to reach out to others.  Some isolate, some want to become as busy as they can to forget and move on.

So how do you run away from the way God made you and me?  I’m thinking you can’t run fast enough; you turn around and face and embrace the “learning moment” from God.  

You may even find a quiet place in your home and light a candle in remembrance of the home-goings this past year of a loved one or friend. 

Or you may think of the ones in fragile health this Christmas, or those who have precarious relationships that still need to be healed.  You think of friends who say to you, “enjoy the time with your family; I have no one.”

You lift up your prayers and you wait in stillness.

Silence, communion and love is received in your heart and you know you are better; you turn TOWARDS the Father, to the WORD, Jesus, and to the COMFORTER, Holy Spirit.

“Now let your unfailing love comfort me, just as you promised me, your servant”. 

Psalm 119:76 NLT

This Christmas, as in the last twenty-years, I am enjoying my youngest daughter and her family, here from California.  I am blessed in so many ways when they come “home” to family and friends.

This past Sunday, we all filed into a beautifully decorated sanctuary and took our seats in a comfy pew after greeting numerous friends with hugs.  As we sit there, I’m tapped on the shoulder from behind; there’s my friend who’s husband went home to the Lord a few months ago; she is sitting beside her daughter and family also.  “Good”, I think, “she has family with her.”

Another widow walks in and sits in front of me. She is my “new widow friend”, as I didn’t really know her until I helped with her celebration meal for her husband this past year.  She sits beside her loving sister and her husband.

The choir sings and leads us in uplifting songs, and then disperses themselves into the congregation to hear the message.  Another beautiful choir widow of three weeks slips into a pew; how is she strong enough to resume her place in the choir so quickly, I wonder. She hugs her friends and smiles through her tears.  Our close friends become our family even more when we need them.

By now, it is hard to think of anything else except of all the victory memorial services of the past year. My thoughts rush to two other friends I’ve know almost fifty years, who have said to their spouses, “goodbye, see ya later”, this year. They are making their way through the grief process and through one of the many “firsts” that come along during the year.

Finally, I think of my brother-in-law who is not seeing his only son this Christmas, and I pray for him, “God, comfort him in his sadness this Christmas.”

So today, after going through highs and lows, tears and hugs, I light my candle and I lift up my friends and family on Christmas Eve, the night of HOPE and RENEWAL and EMBRACEMENT of my very own “image of God’ . 

My fingers finish their clatter on the keyboard, my whole being asks God to fine-tune me into His loving image, and I wait…..wait for the Holy comfort and joy to fill-in the sad places in my heart, and help me overflow to others.  

I am “good again”, and move on, finding JOY in my sad thoughts, and HEALING in my communion with my Maker.

Signing off now….I need to make a few love phone calls before the day is done.

“You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in Your Presence.”  Acts 2:28 NIV

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