To the broken hearted….

Posted on December 24, 2022 by Rev. Pam Reidy under grief, loss, mourning, Inspiration

It’s Christmas Eve. Unfortunately, the grief journey cannot be laid aside because the world is singing joyful songs. Although compassionate friends and family are willing to help the bereaved face the holidays, no amount of kindness can alleviate the aching heart of people who this year lost someone they deeply love.  The first Christmas is lonely, the throbbing of loss so acute.

Similarly, death does not wait for holidays to pass and so, sadly, some people will experience bitter losses today and tomorrow, forever changing Christmas. However painful or unexpected, death is a part of life and our work is to embrace it, whether it is ours or it belongs to someone we know.

The best we can do is to try to remain open to the reality that despite our sadness, “joy cometh in the morning”.  As the Hebrew Scriptures remind us – “there is a time for everything, a time for weeping and a time for joy.” The scripture never promised these to be mutually exclusive and so perhaps it is best to realize that both joy and sorrow can reside in our heart at the same time. This holiday, we can allow ourselves a little joy despite the pain and if we are blessed to be able to rejoice without sorrow, perhaps we should take the time to reach out to those who cannot.  

Meet Presley, my first cousin twice removed.  She is seeing her first lighted Christmas tree. When I first saw this picture a day ago, I was smitten, utterly taken by the wonder in her eyes and the perfectly captured reaction of sheer joy. She is my reminder of the delight we should allow ourselves, no matter how deeply we are hurting. She is also a great reminder that just around the corner, the unexpected is waiting to surprise us, to capture our hearts, and fill us with hope. Isn’t that the real Christmas message?

Every great religion and spirituality has stories and traditions surrounding the miracle of new hope when things seem at their darkest.  Even now, the earth that seems so cold and barren, is sheltering the seeds of the springtime flowers we will enjoy.  

This Christmas let us rejoice, for there is always more to come, new dreams, more hope, more love waiting for us. Let us not make the mistake of failing to embrace both the sorrow and joy of life, not waiting for one while we endure the other.  Like the gaze of this little child, let us enjoy the mystery and the miracles.

I wish you peace this day.

2 Responses to To the broken hearted….

  1. Avatar Beth says:

    Your words are like a warm hug.
    On the darkest night there is always a flickering of light! It’s there if we look for it.
    Merry Christmas Pam!!

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