Lebanon Reporter

Columns

December 11, 2013

A Christmas letter from heaven

When my grandfather passed away in February of 1990, it was the first major loss in my life. I fumbled through the grieving process, desperately trying to be strong for my grandmother whose home I moved into on the day grandpa died. I had been instructed by well-meaning relatives that I should not cry in front of her, but it was so very difficult to remain stoic while she grieved.

I dealt with my grief like I do most things in life; through writing. As Christmas drew near and I realized how utterly painful it would be to celebrate without grandpa, I wrote the following and shared it with the family on Christmas day.

Twelve years later, on Dec. 5, my grandmother died. I was asked to read the Christmas letter at her funeral, but I couldn’t do it. By this time, I had experienced a number of losses, including my precious mother. Speaking at my grandmother’s funeral would have required a deeper reserve of strength than I had within me on that day. And so, I passed it off to someone else. I don’t remember who read it, but when I heard the words I realized they were not mine anyway. Years prior, I had written it to comfort my grandmother, and in doing so, I had tapped into words and phrases she would have expressed if she could write her own “Christmas Letter from Heaven.”

Perhaps the letter will bring some measure of comfort to others who are grieving through a loss this holiday season. May God be with you during this difficult time.

Dear Loved Ones:

It has been several months since we said our farewells. I have thought of you often, and the Lord has kept me updated on how you are doing. It is nearly Christmas and I know you are thinking of me. I remember how it felt to lose someone I loved when I was on earth. But, mother and daddy, and all those who went on before me are here now, and we have had blessed reunions!

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