Lights were dimmed as the church choir sang “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” Emotions swelled within me as I remembered 42 Christmases past with our son Patrick. This year he wouldn’t be home for Christmas; he’s spending his eternal life with Jesus.
Quiet in my grief, I refrained from drawing attention from the dear family and friends around me. Eyes closed, I remembered him, 10 months old, in his little red suit he wore his first Christmas. I remembered the holiday’s anticipation that kept him from sleeping a full night almost all his youth. Memories flooded again as the friend sitting next to me had joined us and our son in church pageants gone by. Emotions crept out of the cubby holes of my soul–that place that I thought had sentries guarding so carefully.
As my daughter moved a few seats over and slid in next to me, her arm tucked gently under mine and squeezed me softly. Being sensitive and caring about her mom’s emotions, she was intuitively aware. She could otherwise have been distracted by her children, or the beautiful performance. I placed my hand upon her knee, letting her know she brought strength to my heart.
Most of the grief we often experience is held private. Life. does. go. on. ~ even after our losses ~ and most people want you to be happy and to share in their joys. Therefore grief gets tucked in the cubby holes of the soul–that snug place we feel that it’s safe. We tell it to behave itself, to stay quiet, to not ‘bleed’ on anyone. Tears leak out, however, and sometimes it happens when we least expect it. Seldom are they witnessed………
…unless a tenderhearted person is watching you out of the corner of their eye. This happens because it’s a nudge from God … because He knows that pain in your cubby hole is showing. And He wants to fill the vacancy.
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, bearing with one another…” [Colossians 3:12]