Grief at Christmas and Remembering the Joy


So many of us have grief memories to deal with at Christmas.   Some find the grief so overwhelming that there can be no celebratory spirit for what is termed the “happiest time of the year.”


Christmas is my favorite holiday, as it is for many.  I begin celebrating early in November, and it lasts until late January.  The true meaning of Christmas cannot be squelched by the loss of loved ones.  I would be thinking of them anyway at Christmas, no matter what time of year they died.  But the memory seems a bit deeper, more searing, more important, more gripping when a loved one died at holiday time.  Actually, I am glad to have this time of year to celebrate their lives along with all the other hoopla of the holidays.  It makes this time of year sweeter, more meaningful and precious.


Mom, Dad, & brother David

I lost my parents twelve years apart at Thanksgiving time.   I lost my oldest brother mid-December 1994.  Then my daughter graduated to her “Crowning Day” on December 15, 2008.  My son’s birthday is two days before Christmas, and my birthday three days after Christmas.  Plus I was born on the burial day of my great grandmother, a very special lady to my mother.  Her emotions must have been off the charts!


Daughter Karin in 1978

Holiday time, from the approach to Thanksgiving until Epiphany on January 6, is full of special memories, both sad and glad.  Actually, I am grateful the demise of four dear souls, so entwined in my heart, fall at this happy time of year.  It encourages me to celebrate their lives with joy for their contribution to my life.

If you are suffering loss at this time of year, I pray God will help you to see the positive aspects resulting from your losses.  Revel in the impact of their lives on yours and others; then rejoice they are celebrating with God with whole, heavenly bodies.



About 9awalsh

A genealogist and writer who has uncovered legacy stories which must be told. I also write a blog, Deciphering Life, trying to figure out why life becomes so tangled --
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2 Responses to Grief at Christmas and Remembering the Joy

  1. Jack Seobert says:

    Yes, Nina, momentous things happen all days of the year. I remember Harry Hardman from Richburg died on December 25th. Many of the hard times in WWII were in the winter. Mixed emotions? You bet. Over the course of time, as you infer, both great and tragic things have happened on almost every day of the year. Some calculate that Jesus was born in August, because of the lambs were on the hillside. The lesson is that our emotions are not to be tied to the day of the year but to the event. And since our calendar has been amended several times over the millenniums, the day of the year that such events occur becomes less and less important.


    • 9awalsh says:

      Thanks for bringing up the calendar issue! There is only one chance in 365 chances that Jesus was born on Dec. 25. Nevertheless, we need a date to cling to for all celebrations — Epiphany, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Memorial Day, etc. When we lived in San Diego, so many people decorated their houses with snow! :-0 Made me laugh. There definitely was no snow in Bethlehem on whatever day Jesus was born! I had forgotten Harry H. died on Christmas Day. That was more than momentous for my family — not only was he a good friend, but opened the door for my Dad to become the Head Custodian of the school, and left an open position for Al Monahen, another good friend, to be hired on the custodial staff.


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