For some people, Christmas serves as a constant reminder of a lost loved one and grief seems like their only companion. At a loss on how to help, we can conveniently forget this population around us. My brother's birthday falls just a few days before Christmas, so the season can be bittersweet. We celebrate, yet we feel grief at the same time. Most people would tell you that no amount of material comfort or presents make them feel better. So, what can we do?
How can we help those grieving around us this Christmas?
Remember something about their loved one--a funny story, a certain thing they liked, something you liked about that person, a story or fact they told you about them.
Losing someone close to you can be devastating, the pain can feel overwhelming. One of your biggest concerns is that they will be forgotten. No one will remember them. When they are remembered, even mentioned it means more to that person than you will ever know.
Invite them to share stories or memories. Often those who've been grieving for a while, feel awkward about talking about the one(s) they've lost. They don't want to upset anyone or start to feel like people don't want to hear them talk about that person any more. You may start with a memory of your own to get the ball rolling.
Then, genuinely LISTEN to them. Cry with them if you need to or just be there.
Pray for those around you that are grieving this Christmas. Pray that the Lord would surround them with comfort and peace. Pray for ways you can minister to them. If you don't know how to pray specifically, just bring their name to the Lord and ask that He help them. It can be as simple as that!
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5