Grieving through the holidays

*Editor’s note: This information was published in the November 2021 issue of Heartfelt Magazine, CHM’s monthly magazine that provides CHM membership-related tips and tricks, medical advice from doctors, testimonies from CHM members, and more. Please refer to the CHM Guidelines and applicable web pages for the most up-to-date information regarding CHM membership, sharing eligibility, and ministry news.*

By Pastor Dale, CHM Chaplain

The holidays remind most people of pleasant times with family and friends. But what happens when someone we loved has passed away and now, here come the holidays?

The holidays remind us of all the memories we enjoyed that will never happen again, and of memories that will never be made. Each triggers grief. Grief affects every part of ourselves. It’s important we grieve in a good way.

Here are thoughts on “good grief”:

Grieving is the process of repeated contact with triggers. Triggers are occasions when we’re reminded of the loss through a song, a memory, or an occasion. Avoiding triggers only prolongs your grief.

Time doesn’t heal grief, but it does take time. Keep in mind we’re all different, so some people will grieve longer than others.

Good grief has a process:

  1. You have to accept the reality of the circumstance—and it takes time to adjust.
  2. Eventually, in time, we’ll move from the present to the memory and memorialize or celebrate what was lost.
  3. Finally. one can go forward in this new reality.

Remember that our Savior Jesus Christ came as a babe in a manger. He experienced life’s pain and death. He knows our pain and sorrows. For believers, death isn’t final. John 11 says that if we live, we’ll never die and if we die, we’ll always live.

Thank God for His redemption. If you question your loved one’s salvation, remember God loved them more than you. Who knows what conversation they may have had with the Lord before they passed away. Remember the thief on the cross? Let’s commit them to God!

This life is preparing us for our eternal home. When we cross over, “Oh what a day that will be.” Let’s celebrate those who have crossed over before us—they made it home!

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