There are a few things that I wish I wasn’t good at. Like grieving in December. My paternal grandmother died the December of my freshman year at college. Eleven years later my father died in December, just six months before my wedding. Last December my mother died. (I wrote about her death here.) And now this week my 29-year-old nephew Jim died.
The way I look at and experience Advent and Christmas and even death itself has changed in many ways. The colored lights and unnaturally cheery music blaring in nearly every public place is tempered by loss, the loss of those I’ve held dear. Sympathy cards received in the midst of jolly Christmas cards is a challenging reminder that death is very much a part of life.
Even as God came to us in the helpless, needy baby, God knew that baby would one day die an unloved outcast. I can’t help but cling to the knowledge that God knows a depth of loss like those of us who mourn and meets us in that loss, offering comfort and assurance through the promises of the resurrection.