Life Coach Magazine

Grief and Loss During Or After the Holiday Season

By Writerinterrupted @writerinterrupt

Prayer is vital for caregivers in AND out of the Sandwich GenerationTwas the night before Thanksgiving, and I was waiting to head for the airport at midnight to pick up a dear friend when she was scheduled to land at 1 a.m. While I waited, I sat at my desk, working on a couple of projects while enjoying a holiday movie. As I wrote, I noticed a news headline pop up in my Google+ window – a plane had crashed in Arizona!

Praying hard and trying not to panic, I started checking my friend’s flight time and schedule. It didn’t look like her plane would fly right where it crashed, but it would be close. I called the airline, and they said all was well, but as I hung up, I wondered what they would say if it HAD been their plane. And for that matter, since the crash had just happened, would they even know yet.

I kept praying – LOTS, and researching online for any new updates. Finally, about 20-30 minutes later, Twitter started posting headlines that it was a small, private plane. Relieved it was probably not my friend’s plane, yet grieving for the families of the victims, I thought about the impact this would have on many Thanksgiving get-togethers this year, and Christmas as well.

It’s so easy to run around, caught up in all the busy-ness of life, during the holiday season and beyond. Then something happens – a serious illness, a lost job, a crashed plane – and you are sharply reminded of the uncertainties of life and how important it is to fix your eyes on what is certain – Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.

I remember when my family reeled from the grief of my senior dad entering hospice right after Thanksgiving. Christmas was extremely quiet that year. There was an overtone of sorrow mixed with the quiet joys God blessed us with as we visited with dear friends and extended family members followed by his passing away shortly after the New Year.

Death is never easy – whether it comes suddenly or slowly over a matter of weeks or months. The holidays make it even more difficult, and bittersweet. But each time I’ve “walked through the valley of the shadow of death” with a loved one, I’ve been blessed to be reminded of God’s loving presence through comforting Bible verses, encouraging praise and worship music, loving hands and hugs, and the sense of His presence as I fix my eyes on Him. And, as Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

For those going through a difficult season during or after the holidays, I pray for His comfort and peace that passes all understanding. And for the rest of us, I pray for the right words to comfort those who hurt, and the wisdom to know when and what to pray to encourage others.

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