As I bake, craft (reluctantly), wrap presents, and listen to The Polar Express soundtrack on repeat (because my kids just cannot get enough), I think of how wonderful life is for me this Christmas. Of all the important things in life (family, friends, health, LOVE, food), I am blessed.
I’m excited to celebrate joy with my friends and family for the next week. But also, I am expectantly preparing to share in the challenges, grief, and uncertainty that this season represents for some of my closest friends and family. Because, life isn’t always good. Because, sometimes the hurt is too much. Because, we need each other in all things. Because, celebrating doesn’t always mean tears of joy. Because, being vulnerable and willing to listen means a lot. Because, love is what matters most.
This past week, I celebrated the life of my longtime friend’s son who passed away. In the tragic loss, the family chose to celebrate their little boy’s life with their friends and family. I will forever cherish the opportunity to grieve, remember, reflect and hope with the family. The family shared their surprise at the hope they experienced because of their community’s love and support. In moments of unimaginable grief, hope is gold.
It was a reminder of how important it is to invite people in; to be honest in both the best and worst of circumstances. As we all do life differently, celebrating together gives us the opportunity to share our victories, challenges, and learnings with each other. In doing so, we are enriched and made more whole because of one another.
We’re meant to celebrate…To demonstrate love and support in all circumstances. To acknowledge victory. To share blessings and inspire hope. To create life-giving memories. To let our walls down and invite others in. To memorialize life – the good, the bad, and all that’s in between. To remind each other what matters most – love.
Whatever circumstance you find yourself in this holiday season, I hope that you do not go it alone. And whether your celebrations are filled with dancing, merriment, tears, heartache, hope, or JOY, may you share them with those who are dearest to you.
Love, hope, and peace to you,