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I secretly cried after Mass yesterday. My kids told me that one of the new altar boys that they served with had his grandparents in town for Christmas. The enthusiastic Nanna and Papa were so gleefully proud, they couldn’t refrain from snapping photos to memorialize their beloved grandsons’ biggest moments. Clearly, their hearts swelled with pride for their daughter’s treasured offspring.
On the drive home, I told my boys that if Grandma Maureen and Grandpa Jerry were living, they would have taken loads of pictures too. How proud they would be. How proud they are. “Maybe they’re taking photos from heaven…” I mused. Then the quiet tears.
Christmas - Celebration - Lord - Gift - Participation
At long last, Christmas has arrived. While it is meant to be a profoundly joyful celebration signaling our Lord’s great gift to us in His participation in our lowly humanity, many of us experience deep sadness and hurt. It’s been 25 years since my mom left this earth, and yet there are times I still miss her as much as that excruciatingly awful day she unexpectedly departed. Eight very long years have also passed since my dad’s death which often feels like a blink of an eye. I miss them both, especially at these times the rest of the world celebrates with their loved ones. More than anything, I miss enjoying my kids’ major milestones with my mom and dad at my side.
Over time, I’ve learned to cope better with my grieving, especially when conversely the calendar reminds everyone else to be in celebratory mode. While the world is partying it up, I can acknowledge the loved ones who have died and still manage to enjoy myself. But make no mistake, it has required some mental, emotional maneuvering to dwell on the things I am grateful for. It takes years, decades even of getting used...
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