The week before Christmas…

It is hard to imagine that next week Friday night my family will be gathered together for our Christmas weekend. For the last 5 years, the days surrounding Christmas, have been a time of joy mingled with sorrow. The night my brother was killed in a car accident I was opening gifts with my sisters family. We were anticipating more Christmas gatherings with the larger family and the night was unfolding in such a beautiful way.

And then the phone rang….and life was forever changed.

One thing I have come to realize during my journey of grief and loss is that every heart holds a varying mix of sorrow and joy.  Your sorrow may or may not be related to the loss of life, but sorrow comes from so many different experiences. I believe it is a kind decision to honor the sorrow that is present in your being.

And so as I move into this week I want to honor all my heart holds. I am grateful that as a family, we have learned to allow for the joy and the sorrow, the laughter and the tears, the silence and the great amount of noise that comes when we gather. We will talk about life today and all the goodness it holds, and we will talk about Len and where we are missing his laughter, his goofiness, and his presence.

I hope you will be honest about all your heart holds this week as we get closer each day to Christmas. I hope you have those who want to know more about your sorrow as it mingles with the joy of the season.

peacehopelovejoyI hope this Christmas season(starting today) brings you just enough quiet to experience deep peace, just enough laughter to experience deep joy, just enough family to experience deep love and when you reflect on all your heart holds, may you experience an abundance of HOPE!