For those who are grieving the loss of a loved one, Thanksgiving and Christmas (especially the “first” of each) can be particularly hard to experience. I know all too well. Nothing can make these moments easy but prayer has always helped me and can offer a path to walk through these days with greater peace and even opportunities for healing. The chairs are empty. But the relationships with the people who once occupied them continue on in our shared memories and stories. My struggle is not mine alone. It is the shared challenge of millions around the world who fight to fill a heartfelt void after having lost their spouse, child, parent, sibling, friend, or worse, a combination of. A dreaded battle, at best. But we as humans come equipped with the greatest, rarest grace imaginable: resilience. And faith….♥
There is an empty chair at our table, an ache in our hearts and tears on our faces. We may try to shield one another from the grief we bear but we cannot hide it from you. We pray for those in Heaven, my Angels…and many more loved ones, whose presence we miss in these upcoming holidays. Open our hearts and minds to the healing and warmth of the light of your presence. We pray, Lord, and we trust that those we miss have found their place at your table, their home in your heart. Open our hearts to joyful memories of the love we shared with those who have gone before us. Help us tell the stories that make present the past and bring us close again to those we miss. Teach us to lean on each other and on you, Lord, for the strength we need to walk through difficult times. Give us quiet moments with you, with our thoughts, with our memories and prayers. Be with us, Lord, and hold us in your arms even as you hold those who have gone before us. Help us to trust that one day we shall be with those we love when your mercy gathers us together in the joy of the life you promise us. This is the day you have made, Lord: help us to rejoice in it and in the promise of your peace.
Amen. ♥ Happy Thanksgiving!!