Sounds of good cheer….
The holidays, a time full of sounds of good cheer, laughter, decorating, time together, yummy treats, parties, celebrations, Christmas songs, and sappy Hallmark movies. When faced with widowhood, those sounds of good cheer may sound more like tears, anger and loneliness. They may sound more like you comforting your kiddos or other family members because they haven’t faced the holidays without your person. The holidays sound a lot different than you expected them to and you aren’t feeling or hearing any sounds of good cheer or feeling very joyful.
For my daughter and myself, the holiday season has definitely changed since the passing of my husband and has been punctuated by more sounds of sadness than cheer. Every year is a harsh reminder of the person absent in our family and our celebrations. We have a lot to celebrate, but we still find the holidays harsh and unrelenting when it comes to grief.
The holidays, especially Christmas, are meant to be a celebration of something so much bigger than the gifts, songs, parties or yummy treats; we are celebrating the birth of our Saviour, Jesus! Luke 2:10-11 tells us that “But the angels said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” Did you hear that? Those beautiful sounds of good cheer the angels shared? The good news that Jesus, our Savior, was born and that our world would never be the same. He came to save us, to change us and to go before us to prepare a heavenly home for us.
That’s where the sounds of good cheer come from. They don’t come from the gifts, decorating, yummy treats or Christmas decorations, they come from celebrating a birth that gives us hope and a new song. The sound of the angels’ voices announcing a Savior that gives us that hope that we will see our spouse again in our heavenly home. Hope that we have something bigger than just this earth and its offerings. We can have sounds of good cheer even in the midst of the grief and sadness that inevitably come. Even in the dark days, we have something greater and bigger to bring us cheer, something stronger to hold onto and believe in.
So as you face this holiday season and try to hear those sounds of good cheer, give yourself some grace, buy lots of tissues, cry those tears, hug those loved ones tight, but remember where our sounds of good cheer ultimately come from and what we are celebrating.
We have HOPE, we have a heavenly home where the sounds of good cheer will never go away and where there will be no sadness or tears shed!
Amy Woody brings her personal experience and passion for helping others to her work with widows. She wishes you and yours a Christmas filled with hope and good cheer.