Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Holidays without a loved one

While going to retrieve my coat after this past Sunday's worship service I overheard one of the members commenting about how he couldn't wait to get through Christmas.  He had lost his wife earlier in the year, and was confiding with another friend who had lost a spouse a few years previously.  Then, before we had our coats on, another gentleman joined in the conversation about the difficulty of the holiday. He too had lost his wife earlier in the year.

I had recently considered the idea of doing a "cross training" retreat for couples to prepare for the inevitable loss of one of the partners before the other. The idea of the cross training would be to help spouses understand the roles of the other; whether it be food, finances, computers or home maintenance. When I asked what could have been done to prepare them for loss of their spouse, one person commented leaving their financial matters in order is a great gift to the surviving spouse.  However they all agreed nothing could fully prepare one for such an enormous loss and change in life.  Kind of like becoming a parent, no books or training sessions are adequate to get one ready for such a dramatic change.

So, while holidays are a time of great joy and excitement for many, let's also remember that for others they can be a painful time, living with the void and loss of a loved one.

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