Celebrating Christmas in the Midst of Grief

Celebrating Christmas in the Midst of Grief

I have several friends who have lost loved ones over the past few months. With Christmas just a few days away, they’re wondering what this Christmas will be like without their loved one. I understand their feelings – my mom went home to be with the Lord on December 19 two years ago. My aunt (her sister) died a few hours later. We had two funerals a day apart just a few days before Christmas.

Yes, it was a different kind of Christmas.

We missed our loved ones greatly. But, that Christmas was special as we gathered together with family and reflected on our loved ones’ lives and the impact they made.

I found myself wondering what mom was experiencing as she spent Christmas face to face with her Savior. I imagined her singing Christmas carols for the first time in years (she had lost her ability to speak and hear). And she was most likely bowing before Jesus, telling Him how thankful she is for His coming, His birth, His death, His resurrection.

As much as we missed her, we knew she was where she longed to be. We were happy for her, even in the midst of our grief.

Some of you have lost loved ones this year, and you’re unsure of how you’re going to experience this Christmas without them. For some, you’re thankful they’re no longer suffering. But for others, you’re struggling with understanding why God took your loved one in the prime of their life. And for some, you’re not sure of the spiritual state of your loved one when they passed away, and that makes it even more difficult.

Christmas without those we love is hard. But we can still celebrate Christmas as we reflect on the significance of the birth of Christ over 2000 years ago. Without His coming, we’d have no hope for life after death – a life far greater than anything we’ve experienced on this earth.

Regardless of what we may be going through this Christmas – health issues, loss of a loved one, financial struggles, marital issues, loneliness – God knows and understands what we’re feeling. As we celebrate Christmas and the birth of our Savior, let us give thanks for His coming and the life He promises those who put their faith in Him.

Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel – God is with us.” Isaiah 7:14

Because He came to this earth as a baby born in a manger, we are never alone, no matter what our life circumstances are. Immanuel – God is with us.

I want to share this video of Ellie Holcomb singing Hope is Alive – a great reminder that He knows what’s going on in our lives today, and He is with us through every step.

Merry Christmas to all!

  1. Thanks, Crickett! Christmas can be a mixed bag, that’s for sure. I appreciate your insight and perspective!

  2. Thanks, Christie! Merry Christmas to you!

  3. Yes, we lost Gary’s 97yo father last year on December 22, so this will be a different Christmas for us as well. Thank you for the reminder that even in the midst of the sadness, we can be comforted by the assurance that God is still on the throne and we can look forward to an eterniiy with Him!

  4. Vonda, praying for you this Christmas as you’ve had a tough season this fall. Sending you a big hug! Merry Christmas.

  5. Crickett, Thanks for touching on a subject that many will relate to. Grief takes on many forms and is a personal experience.
    After my mom went home to be with the Lord four years ago, our first Christmas without her was so difficult. By the next year it occurred to me how much Mom loved Christmas and would hate for us to be grieving when we should be celebrating the birth of Christ! And as you stated in your post, Mom was in heaven celebrating with Jesus himself.
    Thanks for sharing and Merry Christmas

  6. Merry Christmas, Becky! The year mom died, we knew mom would want us to go ahead with our Christmas plans and celebrate Christmas, just as you said your mom would. We miss her, but I’m so so glad she’s free from this earthly body and celebrating in ways we can only imagine. I know this Christmas is going to be tough for many. I want to be faithful to pray for them. Thanks for sharing, Becky!

  7. I remember a particularly hard Christmas for my family after my dad passed away. Many of the gifts we gave each other were remembrances of him (a quilt made of his shirts for my mom, his license plate framed, etc.), and no eye was dry for long. It was a meaningful Christmas, though, and it will always stand out in my memory as one when we all felt close to each other.

  8. Heather, I love the idea of giving gifts that were remembrances of your dad. Wish we had thought of that. Thanks for sharing! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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