Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted!
Recently I had a conversation with a friend who dreads the upcoming holidays. This holiday season will be the first since his father died a few months back. What use to be a time of joyous family gatherings, great celebrations, spirited arguments about whose team would win the array of televised football games, and nostalgic stories beginning with the phrase, "remember when..." was now dreaded a time. "Dad won't be there, my friend lamented, so it just won't be the same. I wish we could just skip the holidays this year!"
His lament is a universal experience. Navigating the presumed holiday cheeriness can be difficult at best for the bereaved. There are so many triggers for grief, such as the empty chair where he use to sit and the question of who will carve the turkey this year. Face it, the holidays aren't the same following the loss of a loved one. There are so many subtle and unsubtle changes that reawaken within us the experience of the Psalmist who stated, "My heart has turned to wax, it has melted within me."
Many of you have experienced a significant loss in the last year or two and you might be wondering how you are going to cope with grief over the holidays and beyond.
Stephen Ministry and I will be hosting a time to reflect upon this question called Safe Harbor. The purpose of Safe Harbor is to provide a port in the storm of grief. Safe Harbor is a place to share your grief, learn coping strategies for the holidays and experience support from others who have experienced the loss of a loved one. Safe Harbor will take place on Sunday, November 22 at 12:30 p.m. in the Calvin Room. For more information, click here. To R.S.V.P., please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prayer for Today
God of Compassion, help us to know how to comfort those who mourn and bring peace to all who have experienced their heart turning to wax and melting within. Heal the broken hearted and fill their lives with the support of friends. Amen.