I love Christmas music, even though it often brings tears. “I’ll be Home for Christmas” always make me cry, especially now that I know Kirby will never be home for Christmas. She’ll never surprise me, suddenly showing up to startle and delight me. One of my all time favorite Christmas songs is “Mary Did You Know?”, sung by Kathy Mattea. The words ask the questions: “Did you know that your baby boy would some day walk on water… save our sons and daughters… has come to make you new…the child that you’ve delivered will soon deliver you? Did you know that your baby boy would give sight to a blind man…calm a storm with his hand…” as I listen to the song, I am reminded that we do not know what is ahead, we only know what has happened. Would knowing the future make living today easier or more difficult? My mother- in -law once told me, “whatever happens today, learn from it, for you will need that knowledge for tomorrow.” Wise words that I have tried to live by. As we enter this season of giving and gathering, those who are grieving struggle to allow happiness to seep into their experience. Did we know that one we love would be taken suddenly, too soon, traumatically? Did we know what that loss would feel like and how it would forever change our lives? Could we have imagined the energy and support we would need to still live with joy? Whether we celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, another Religious feast or the coming of the new year…whatever, this is a season where we are supposed to be happy, feel loving, and give to others. There are decorations, people are shopping, holiday music is blaring. Did you know that the grief you have experienced would change how you enter this season? So now the question that needs to be asked is: now that we know this heartache, how will we allow this grief to shape us? Will we allow that pain to make us bitter, isolating us from others or better, connecting to those who love us (even if they do not fully understand our pain) ? Can I learn from my grief to be more loving, understanding, forgiving, reaching out to others struggling with the sorrow of loss? I know I chose to decorate our home, make gingerbread houses with grandchildren, laugh, celebrate with family and friends, even though I will cry when I hear the song, “I’ll be home for Christmas”. And I will be forever grateful that I did not know what was ahead but that I have had the love and support to live with what has been. Visit The Empowerment Guide & The Promise and share this post!