As I write these words, I understand that everyone reading this newsletter has experienced some type of loss. Whether it’s the loss of a parent, spouse, sibling, child, or friend we all enter the holiday season knowing that our loved one will no longer be here to celebrate with us. For those suffering a recent loss, the pain can be unbearable. For those who have gone many holidays without their loved one, the pain may be dulled a bit, but still remains each year. It’s important that we acknowledge that the pain of losing a loved one may never fully go away.
But there is hope.
While we may feel the ache of loss during the holiday season, we must also remember that we are called to experience great joy with the arrival of God’s gift to earth: Jesus Christ. Without Christ and His sacrifice, we would not have the chance to be reunited with our loved ones in Heaven one day. This promise of eternal life is something that should uplift our hearts and guide us out of deep despair.
If you find yourself struggling this holiday season, remember that God calls us all to find peace and happiness. Finding glimpses of joy and thanksgiving does not mean you miss your loved one any less. Your loved one would want you to be happy. They would want to see a smile on your face. Therefore, try to find some joy this holiday season. Doing so will bring you closer to both God and your dearly departed loved ones.
Andrej Lah – Director, Catholic Cemeteries Association