The Christmas season can be a difficult time for those of us who have lost loved ones. I've given it a lot of thought on this 34th Christmas without Tony and Amanda.
Why is it so hard?
When I look at it from a faith based point-of-view (and I AM full of faith) I say, "This is the celebration of the birth of our Saviour! The one who makes it possible for me to have faith in that glorious resurrection when I will be reunited with my children."
So why is it so hard?
I've reflected on Elder Joseph B Wirthlin's talk Come What May, and Love It. But I've decided that I need to change that just slightly to-
Come What May, and Love HIM
With that slight change in wording I'm able to trust in the Lord. Trust that He will never leave me comfortless; He will never leave me to *go it alone*!
But why is it so hard?
I've decided that the Christmas celebration embodies everything that is good and family. It is frequently one of the few times that extended families gather and reconnect with their loved ones: older siblings come home from college or far-away locations. It is a concentrated dose of familial love which makes us feel more keenly those who are not with us here.
So is it still hard?
Yes, and no. Some fifteen years ago a friend, who'd also lost a son, was visiting at Christmas time and I commented that this was the first year that Christmas wasn't so hard. She lamented that I shouldn't tell her that because, in fact, 20 years was a lot of sad Christmases.
How can I make it NOT be hard?
Well, the only way I know of is FAITH! Faith in my Lord, Jesus Christ. Faith in His promises. Faith in His timing. And faith that He will help me CHOOSE to be happy.
And that, for me, is the key. I have to choose to be happy. I avoid those things that will throw me into a funk. When those sad, longing feelings come, and they always do, I try to replace them with thoughts of joy. Joy that my children have been freed from the trials of this world. Joy that I will be with them again someday. Joy that I
Yes. I choose joy.
On a lovely side note-
Today we had a special Stake Conference at which Bishop Gérald Caussé was our visiting authority. As tender mercies will happen, our Stake President, W Vince Wilding, was a missionary in young Brother Caussé's ward in France 35 ago where Brother Caussé served as the branch pianist.
Bishop Caussé and his wife spoke. She apologized for her broken English and strong French accent but spoke movingly of our Savior and the words of the song What Child Is This. When Bishop Caussé got up to speak he said he had a surprise for his wife. He went to the piano and played the most beautiful arrangement of What Child Is This. I was so touched not only by his ability to *speak* that pure language of music but the sweet gesture it was to his wife, who struggles to speak in English.