What Grieving people wish you knew at Christmas by Nancy Guthrie
Dec 18, 1990 my very close friend and forever sister passed away. She had a "nomad" cancer and she suffered for about 6 months when the end came.
Everyone mourns differently, for me, I think I mourned for the 6 months prior to her dying being I knew unless God heeled her, she would surely die. Once the word came that she had passed, I felt the Lord has made his decision and I was not going to argue with God, at least not too much.
As I look back the story and why my sister died at such a young age, it is very clear, as it often is, when you look back. But this is not about my sister dying, it is about something all together different. This is about how we all should behave around those who have lost a loved one. And let me say this, it is not just by death we mourn, but also by split relationships we mourn.
I chose the Christmas my sister died to go to her in laws house rather than my immediate family for Christmas dinner and for one excellent reason: I knew we would laugh and laugh we did. We spoke frankly about my sister, they spoke honestly about my sister, that would never happen at my families gathering. The honesty and the laughter was just what I needed, we celebrated her life.
By the following year I got married, got an instant family and had wonderful times with my new family. I was married for just over 17 years and then back to being alone for the Holidays. The first year was a challenge but I was resolve to making it work and not be sad. It pretty much worked.
I am often asked why I do not accept invites to other peoples homes at Thanksgiving or Christmas. My answer: "I do not like to answer 101 questions about myself". I know I am interesting, ha ha, but really. I do not want to talk about myself for the entire meal. Due to the inquiry Thanksgiving meal one year, I now opt out to most all invites instead I make myself a very special dinner. (I am always open to inviting friends over)
When people are alone and you invite them over for a holiday meal, please try to evaluate if the guest you have is one who likes to talk about ones self or not. Me? Not!
What People want you to know.... Is a good read, great advice and insightful. Please read it and share with someone you care about.
If you are alone and are lonely, try to figure out what would make you less lonely, a vacation, a walk in the snow or accepting an invite.
For those of you with families, look around and see who you could bless by making them feel welcomed. A little kindness goes a very long way and remember;