We all grieve at times during the Christmas season because of separation from friends, or loss of family loved ones. It seems more intense during this season of nostalgia. Often it results in altering personal holiday traditions; or sometimes, they are simply ignored in grief and lost forever.
Honoring celebrations are an important way of healing. We can all help reduce the pain by reaching out and giving what matters most…acceptance, love and friendship!
My friend Susan wrote an excerpt of her help as a caregiver that is inspirational:
“I work for Home Instead Senior Care as a Care Giver in St. Augustine FL. Two of my clients are so very opposite yet similar. Both have lost their loved one. Mr.T’s wife died 12 years ago and he can’t quite get over it. I have tried to “Christmasfy” his house and he said “No, just can’t do it.” Then one day I noticed he was playing Christmas songs on his computer….next day a wooden Rudolf is peaking out of his bushes…the following day 2 beautiful wreaths of red berries were hanging on the garage door lights on both sides. I said how pretty it looked and he replied, “It does look nice doesn’t it”. He is legally blind.
The other one, Miss M’s husband died and she said he was a Christmas junkie. When she spoke of him she sounded so sad and she said Christmas depressed her. I simply told her that maybe she could think of Christmas as a dedication to her deceased husband. As we decorated the tree, which was the first tree in 3 years in that house, she said “This one is for you Mr. P” Tears came to my eyes.
Now her house is decorated beautifully with bits of old and new pieces for Christmas. We have started to make ginger cookies and look through the cook books every day now. She even has lights outside of her house. She could not wait for her daughter to see what “we” did. She totally has pride in all we do and have done. She has Dementia, and everyday it is a new experience.
I guess what I am trying to say is let them mourn their loved ones but try to turn it into something good. I am just as thrilled to see them every time I go to their house as they are to see me walk through the door. A good hug can last for 3 days! Merry Christmas ~ and a healthy New Year!
Hospitality displays an open gate of welcome, it is a greeting, it extends a warm and inviting heart. It is an act of sharing our love and traditions.
The joy of Christmas: add the fun of family and friends to share in holiday activities, and it is all that is needed to make this season and every tradition, a remembrance of love and understanding.
Let this year be one of reaching out – if not by sharing in personal tradition, let it be by generosity – the generosity of spirit that is so needed in our broken and weary world.
There are many needs around us. Lend a helping hand, share a smile of acknowledgment, or give a needed hug. We all need to give. We also need to receive. It often is the small acts of random kindness that keeps our lives balanced and renews hope.
Generosity softens the hardness of life. It generates acts of love and extends our selves to others. It heals us, those discouraged and the broken-hearted. It empowers us to care for one another during the worst periods in loss.
What matters most is we all have the power to give. Love restores the grieving to life-giving strength. We all need strength to face the demands of unknown tomorrows. The outcome of generosity is the giving of hope, hope for a better future, hope to find peace and love.
The Christmas message has always been about giving. “God so loved the World that He GAVE his only begotten son.” His gift to the world has changed lives and guided believers for generations. Jesus has always been about giving life, imparting a life-giving relationship of acceptance, love and eternal hope. True Christian faith displays all that and more.
Let us not only learn to give more generously of ourselves, but also learn to receive the generosity of others. It may be that needed special hug that lasts for three days!