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BRINGING COMFORT DURING HOLIDAY GRIEF

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By Ginger Truitt

When my grandfather passed away in February of 1990, it was the first major loss in my life. I fumbled through the grieving process, desperately trying to be strong for my grandmother whose home I moved into on the day grandpa died. I had been instructed by well-meaning relatives that I should not cry in front of her, but it was so very difficult to remain stoic while she grieved.

I dealt with my grief like I do most things in life; through writing. As Christmas drew near, and I realized how utterly painful it would be to celebrate without grandpa, I wrote the following and shared it with the family on Christmas day.

Twelve years later, on Dec. 5, my grandmother died. I was asked to read the Christmas letter at her funeral, but I couldn’t do it. By this time, I had experienced a number of losses, including my precious mother. Speaking at my grandmother’s funeral would have required a deeper reserve of strength than I had within me on that day. And so, I passed it off to someone else. I don’t remember who read it, but when I heard the words I realized they were not mine anyway. Years prior, I had written it to comfort my grandmother, and in doing so, I had tapped into words and phrases she would have expressed if she could write her own “Christmas Letter from Heaven.”

Perhaps the letter will bring some measure of comfort to others who are grieving through a loss this holiday season. May God be with you during this difficult time.

Dear Loved Ones,

It has been several months since we said our farewells. I have thought of you often and the Lord has kept me updated on how you are doing. It is nearly Christmas and I know you are thinking of me. I remember how it felt to lose someone I loved when I was on earth. But, mother and daddy, and all those who went on before me are here now and we have had blessed reunions!

I am writing to tell you of the wonderful things taking place here in preparation for Jesus’ birthday. Yes, we celebrate Christmas here, too. If Jesus had not been born on earth, none of us would be here in Heaven. Therefore we have great reason to celebrate!

The golden streets are lined with white, spiring trees bejeweled with the purest diamonds, emeralds and rubies. And the mansions are vibrant with heavenly lights.

I peeked into the Grand Auditorium a few minutes ago. The pipe organ sounds like the pealing of hundreds of church bells on Sunday morning. The entire sanctuary is decorated for the occasion. There are no pews like in earthly churches. We don’t need them because when we enter it is natural to fall on our knees and sing praises to Jesus.

The angelic choir was practicing the most beautiful Christmas hymns. The choir loft holds ten thousand or so angels all dressed in robes of white and gold. When I hear them join together, their angelic voices in perfect harmony, I realize what it means to me that Jesus did not call those ten thousand angels to carry Him from the cross.

I love seeing the preparations that are going into this celebration. I thrill at the thought of spending Jesus’ birthday with Him!

I caught a glimpse of His birthday list. As always, He is giving to everyone else. You should see the blessings He has in store for you this coming year. If only you could see how much He loves you, you would spend Christmas day on your knees praising Him too.

Well, dear family, I must close. I hope you will no longer grieve for me as you can see how happy I am. Please, do not be despondent. It will not be many years before we are reunited and celebrating Christmas together in the presence of the Lord.

I love you each dearly. Keep your hearts right and your eyes on Jesus, for believe me, great will be your reward!

Ginger is an author, speaker, and mother of five. Find her on Facebook (Ginger Truitt-Author), Twitter (@GingerTruitt) or contact her at ginger@gingertruitt.com.