Grief Bites: Hope for the Holidays
DAY 3 OF 5
When one goes through the loss of a relationship, due to the death of a loved one, a divorce, or family conflict, the holidays can completely lose their hope, joy and sparkle. One of the toughest and most heartbreaking questions a griever may have during this challenging time is, "How can I celebrate the holidays yet still remember and honor my treasured loved ones who are now celebrating the holidays in Heaven with God?" Another heart anguishing question someone (who is going through the death of a loved one, a divorce, or family conflict) may have is, "How do I make it through the holidays when I am feeling so much sadness, and how do I get through the holidays when I miss my loved one so terribly?" The holidays are excruciatingly hard for those who are deep in grief due to a loved one's death, a divorce, or family conflict or estrangement. Grievers deeply miss their loved ones, and the holidays hold so many memories; but now those wonderful memories of holidays past may bring intense heartache. Traditions once held dear now hurt and sting because a loved one is no longer here, or no longer willing, to share them. I have found getting through the tough days and heartache of the holidays happens only through the grace of God...with His daily love, help, and encouragement. Ask God right now to comfort and heal your heart, and ask Him to shower you with encouragement as you go through the holiday season...step by step...day by day...moment by moment...event to event. He is right by your side and will even carry you. So what is a griever to do with traditions? If you feel like doing your usual traditions, by all means, do them...and do not feel guilty for allowing yourself joy. Your loved one(s) enjoyed and loved seeing you filled with joy while they were here. They would still love to enjoy seeing you filled with joy once again, even as you go through your grief. If you do not feel up to doing your usual traditions, honor your grief by allowing yourself the freedom to feel what you need to feel. Please do not feel guilty for needing to have a much more relaxed and gentle holiday season. Both are appropriate responses to grief. Please do not feel forced to do or feel anything, or allow pressures to cause you to do anything that doesn't honor where you are in your grief process. Some grievers may want to do a tradition they enjoyed doing with their loved one as a way of remembering them and honoring them, while that may be too painful for some at the present moment. Talk to your remaining loved ones and share your heart by explaining how you are feeling. Ask them for their love and support during the holiday season. Surround yourself with a lot of support! If there is a church near you that offers a grief support group, such as GriefShare or Grief Bites, I wholeheartedly encourage you to attend them. There is a time for everything, including seeking out encouragement and support, and God is faithful to carry you through every season in your life. Honor God and your grief. Allow God to guide and direct your grief and heartache, and ask Him how to best handle traditions and this season of your life. The next two days, I'll be giving ideas of how to not only make it through the holidays, but how to also have peace and create meaningful moments during the holidays. Invite God, right now, to be a welcomed, treasured Friend during the holidays and in the days to come. Prayer: "Dear Most Gracious Heavenly Father, I give You thanks that I do not have to go through the holidays alone. I thank You from a heart of deep gratitude for always being here for me and loving me, and for never, ever leaving or forsaking me. Abba Father, please help me each and every day as I navigate through my grief and heartache. Help me to lovingly remember and honor my loved ones, to let go of anything that is holding my heart hostage, and to clearly see Your goodness and blessings through the storm I am experiencing in life. I love You, Lord, and I praise Your holy Name. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen." This devotional © 2015 by Kim Niles/Grief Bites. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
About this Plan
For many, the holidays are a time of great joy...but what happens when the holidays lose their sparkle and become challenging due to deep grief or loss? This special reading plan will help those going through grief to fi...
About The Publisher
We would like to thank Kim Niles, author of Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You, for providing this plan. For more information, please visit: www.griefbites.com