The holidays are always an emotional time for me, but they are more so for me this year. At the end of November, my husband lost his brother who died rather suddenly and left behind a wife and two teenagers. It’s hard to believe, considering we sat with him at Thanksgiving dinner recently, all of us holding hands to say a prayer and say something that we’re thankful for. He gave my husband and I both a big hug before getting into his car to drive home the morning after. He had so much life in him that I have trouble believing that he’s gone. He was healthy, strong, and active. He seemed almost invincible.
My husband and I spent a week with my sister-in-law and the kids after their loss, and we have spent every weekend with them since, traveling four hours to see them, and we’re going to be spending Christmas and New Years with them as well before we all travel out of state for his memorial in early January. We’re trying to find hope in this grim time because what else can you do? Reminders of my brother-in-law fill this house, and there’s sadness, fear, guilt, and anguish that come welling up at times, overflowing. The grief is palpable and stifling at times, but I admit that it’s becoming less so, and there are even moments filled with reminiscing and laughter.
I’m worried about what the future holds for my sister-in-law and her children, but I pray that God will hold them, guide their footsteps, and bring them comfort. This is a dark time for us, but we will just have to find comfort in the fact that we will all see him again when we pass from this world into the next. If you know someone who is struggling with a loss right now, please reach out to them and offer to be with them, or at least bring them some comfort food. Don’t offer platitudes and try to cheer them up. “Don’t sing songs to a heavy heart.” Just be available for them, so they know that they’re not alone.