We may have reason to grieve during the holiday season—some of us may have lost someone as they have passed away from this life into the next. Others of us may have lost someone emotionally or geographically. We may be dealing with the loss of our illusions of what we think Christmas should be (and this steals from us the joy of accepting what Christmas simply is—as it is—in this present moment we are living). So whenever we experience loss (not just over the holidays but anytime—however, our losses can cut a little deeper and sting a little more sharply when it’s Christmastime because what we don’t have and want illuminates all the more painfully the fact that we don’t have it and want it), it helps to go ahead and grieve so that we can better position ourselves to continue making progress in our life.
Let us grieve our childhood hopes and dreams, what never was, what we wanted Christmas to be, what we wished our parents could have given us (as we are now giving to our family–which is more than just presents). Let us let go, move on, and make our own traditions. This is not easy by any means. But it is something that needs to be done if we find that we are stuck. To get unstuck requires a change of some sort. However, to prevent getting stuck in the grieving part (which is easy to do because we’re finally acknowledging what is, and that can really feel good even if it hurts), it is important to try to bounce back as soon as we are able. This stretching of ourselves helps us to attain a better point of reference in our life instead of holding too tightly to what it is that we have lost.
Since God himself knows what it’s like to lose someone he loves (albeit for only 33 human years or so), he is able to comfort us in our grieving. Christmas marks not only the arrival of the Messiah but also the clock ticking down of his betrayal and death. God sees and knows us. He understands what we are going through. He will help us if we will let him. How do we let him? By being still in our soul and by resting in his embrace. He covers us with his wings as he holds us close to him, as eagles do to their young. This Christmas, may we experience the comfort God offers us as we go through the various stages of loss and recovery.