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Faith and Loss During the Holidays

Have you recently lost a loved one? Are you experiencing your first holiday season without him or her? Has the pain of loss resurfaced regardless of the time frame - be it weeks, months or years?

Dealing with the loss of a loved one is extremely difficult any time of year, but the pain of such a loss can resurface during the holiday season. I have experienced loss before, especially with my grandparents. But on June 30, 2011, my dad died. And yes, that holiday season had my emotions turning inside-out and upside-down and all over the place.

What gets me through each minute of every day is my faith. My belief in God and in our Lord and Savior. In knowing that I will see my father, as well as all my other loved ones whoíve gone to the other side, again. If I didnít have this faith and this belief, I truly donít think I could survive such loss. I really donít. It would be too unbearable.

When we are dealing with loss, we might want to simply click a fast-forward button and skip the holidays. I know I felt that way in 2011. Too painful. But, besides that being impossible, I realize that when we are faced with loss and challenges we might very well need to celebrate even more than usual. Especially during the Christmas season. Think about it - Christmas is a time when we celebrate the birth of Christ. The birth of our Savior - the one who makes eternal life possible for us all. If Jesus had never been born he would have never died for our sins and we wouldnít have the amazing opportunity of the greatest gift ever - that of our salvation. Just think about our loved ones up in heaven celebrating Jesusí birthday with Jesus himself! And how awesome that must be!

My dad was very ill for several years and he was bedridden for several months. Now I see him as free from his ailments and free from the confines of his earthly body. When I think of him this way, I canít be sad that heís out of pain and free. Yes, I am sad that heís not with us anymore and I miss him everyday so much that it hurts. But I have my faith and I know I will see him again. That makes this otherwise unbearable pain tolerable.

If you are dealing with loss this holiday season, whether itís a recent loss or whether itís been years, please know your faith is such a wonderful gift and the greatest support you have. Lean on it. Rely on it. Ask others to keep you in their prayers. Know that you will be in mine.

Grieving with the Help of Your Catholic Faith -- Buy from Amazon

Peace in Christ,
© Melissa Knoblett-Aman

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