Missing a Loved One at ChristmasChristmas can be a time of sheer joy for some, yet it’s a time of great pain for others. I was recently affected by the story of a woman who couldn’t stop sobbing over the loss of her daughter as the holidays approached. She tried to put on a brave face for her healthy sons, but even three years later, the grief of losing her only daughter, along with her many dreams, was difficult to bear.

Contrary to what some secular counselors might think, God’s Word teaches there can be peace in death because there’s is hope in Jesus Christ. That’s what Christmas is all about: God’s love coming down as a tiny baby to bring hope to a lonely and broken world.

Jesus was born into a dark, dreary place and knew what it was like to suffer. He was acquainted with grief. Isaiah 53:3 (New Living Translation, NLT) says, “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”

Grieving the loss of a loved one is one of the biggest challenges at any time of the year. But Christmas can magnify a sense of loss and sorrow. Seasonal events can be painful reminders of the absence of loved ones. For help, connect with a counselor or coach.

If you are mourning the loss of loved ones this season, here are some tips to get through grief at Christmas:

  • Talk about your grief.
  • Keep your plans flexible.
  • Limit alcohol intake.
  • Do things differently.
  • Talk about your memories.
  • Volunteer to help others.
  • Feel free to say no.
  • Give journaling a go.
  • Start new traditions.

If you’re grieving, look to the true story of Christmas and find hope. . . hope God gave us in the baby, our redeemer, Jesus Christ, who understands what it feels like to grieve!

By Steve Arterburn

More about Steve.