December is here, and although this is a beautiful time of year, the Christmas season can bring with it some heartache and sadness to those who have lost loved ones. I know I personally miss my parents a bit more during the holidays.
Like anything, we are all different and will process grief in our own way. I recently heard the statement “You can love a memory, but a memory won’t love you back.” For me this means that we can hold close to our hearts the memories of loved ones, but if we truly loved them, we need to live our lives and make new memories.
Early stages of loss are tough. In the movie, Sleepless in Seattle, Tom Hank’s character shares about the loss of his wife and how he will get up each morning and remind himself to breathe in and out. In time, he won’t have to try so hard just to breathe. As time passes, the heavy weight of grief should lighten up as we process it.
Moving on doesn’t mean forgetting our loved ones. In fact, I believe we are honoring the great love we had for them by living! In the show Yellowstone 1883, Sam Elliot’s character says, “When someone we love dies, a piece of us dies with them, but a piece of them lives on in us.” He was heading to the Oregon coast so his wife could see the ocean through his eyes. What a beautiful testimony to their relationship!
Whatever your belief, life does go on. The world doesn’t stop spinning around, and we must press on, keep breathing, and make new memories. Those new memories may include different traditions, travel to places you hadn’t seen, and expanding your circle of friends.
Through it all, God walks with us. He never leaves us alone, and His strength is sufficient. When we miss someone, we know the depth of the love we shared, and that was a wonderful gift. As we celebrate the birth of His son, Jesus, let us focus on the His gift of love, hope, and joy that this monumental event brings.