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Richard Crowson Commentary

Holiday Grief Visits Many

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Standing out like a darkened bulb amidst a string of bright Christmas lights, holiday grief visits many this time of year. Marketers bombard us with images of togetherness: jubilant party-goers, families sharing holiday meals, hearty toasts and squeals of glee.

The pressure to be sociable and full of joy can make you feel like you’re in an elevator that’s packed with a dozen plump, tipsy Santas, squeezed between their bowls full of jelly as a deafening stream of “Ho ho hos” assaults your ears.

It can be almost too much to bear for those who have lost loved ones. Sooner or later, we all will be there. Holiday grief may visit in the form of an empty chair at a decorated table. Or in the form of an address in your address book where a Christmas card can no longer be sent. Maybe there’s a house down the street with a noticeable lack of decorations this year. If grief hasn’t come directly into your home, you probably know someone who does have that unwelcome house guest.

Give those who are mourning loss over the holidays a little extra time. Help with baking, shopping, decorating or other holiday tasks. Have them over. Be a good listener. Offer hope, but allow them to feel what they feel without judgment.

Some of those darkened Christmas lights can glow again. They may shine only faintly at first, but they still have radiance to give.

All we have to do is remember to plug them into that power source... called love.