For many of us, the holidays can be an emotional roller coaster.  We want to celebrate and remember “The Reason for the Season”, but the empty chair at Thanksgiving and now Christmas and even New Years can bring tears and heightened grief.

My mom passed in 2003 and my daughter in 2012.  We had seven years without a personal reminder of our own mortality until my dad passed in March of this year. So, in our family, we have several empty “chairs” to remind us of those we love dearly and miss terribly.

As Christians, we grieve in hope. Meaning we still feel every bit of the crushing sadness of the separation, but we know that in heaven there will be no more tears and we will see our loved ones again.

At this time of year, celebrating with family and friends is wonderful and challenging. But as we review John 3:16 we are assured of God’s deep and ever-present love for each one of us. We are grateful for the amazing gift He gave in sending his Son into this world to feel our joy and our pain. Knowing that the God of the Universe truly understands is a tremendous comfort.

How about you?

If you have personally experienced an “empty chair” (or chairs) that can make this time a challenge, would you let me know?   I’d like the opportunity to pray for you and your families over the next few weeks.

Chaplain and Patient Advocate | TwelveStone Health Partners