For those who grieve at Christmas

Michaela’s First Christmas 1979
ornament on our tree, 2014

Today is Christmas Eve, and there are a number of people on my heart today who I know who have lost a loved one and who have a particularly difficult time at this season. Although this is completely natural, I just want to offer a different point of view. For me, the one thing that really bothers me about the idea of dying is the grief those I love would suffer. I could probably die fairly peacefully if I knew that everybody I love would be fine, if I knew they would be cared for, loved, held, that they would laugh and grow and be gloriously happy. Any parent out there undoubtedly understands exactly what I am talking about.

But if you are a parent who has lost a child, as so many of us are, do you not understand that your children love you as well, that they want that exact same thing for you that you would want for them? I know you sometimes feel guilty during those moments when you experience happiness, when you laugh, when the lights flicker on again for just a moment. You feel as though you are doing a disservice to your child when you do that, don’t you? But you are wrong, completely and totally wrong. The disservice you do to your child is when you refuse to allow yourself to be happy. I just want to reach out to you on your child’s behalf, touch your heart and tell you to smile. Each and every day find something to smile about. Laugh. And if you are trying to comfort someone who is grieving, there are probably only three things you can do … listen, hug tightly and deeply, and make them laugh. Laughter heals the heart.

Your child does not want you to grieve. Your mother or father who has passed does not want you to grieve. Your husband, wife, partner, friend, sister, brother … none of them want you to grieve. They want what all of us want for those we love. They want you to be happy.

I honestly manage to do this to the very best of my ability. Believe me, I know that it is not always easy to be happy in life, even when you haven’t suffered a traumatic loss. Often, it’s just a choice you have to make. This is a little more complicated for me … actually a lot more complicated … because I don’t  have the sure knowledge that my daughter is at peace somewhere. I have to continually worry that she is still suffering somewhere. But even so, it would not do her any good at all if I allowed the darkness to swallow me. Nor would it do my other children any good. And are our other children not every bit as valuable as the ones we lost? Yes, of course they are. They also need us to be whole, and happy, and for us to be able to love them.

As always, my final word is to Michaela. This also is what I want for you, and nothing else, for you to be happy. If I knew you were happy wherever you are, I would be content. I am the mother, and you are the child, and my heart is wholly for your happiness and well-being above all else, and certainly above mine. However, the peace of mind that would come from knowing that you are okay, if you are, would be worth the world. On the other hand, if you are not happy, I reach out my hand for you to lead you back to where you can, perhaps, find that.

This is my 27th Christmas without you now, Michaela. But every year your special ornament is on our tree. I love you forever, my sweet child.


8 thoughts on “For those who grieve at Christmas

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  1. No, not at all, because that didn't happen. I have room in my heart and in my life for each of my children always. And honestly I would have only spent even more time and attention on Michaela had she been here instead of missing.


  2. Dear Sharon my name is Adriana. I came to your website by coincidence I was looking at a website call listverse during a moment of boredom at work. I was reading one of their list named mysteries 10 Deceased Victims Who Were Discovered in Strange Places. I started to read the story of a boy name Tim Molnar who was last seen by his parents on the day of January 24 1984, the story was also feature in unsolved mysteries where it lead me to your daughters case. It called my attention since your daughter birthday shared the day and month of the disappearance of the boy Tim Molnar and both dates are close to my birthday. any way after reading your daughters case and reading through your website and blog, I felt a profound deep sorrow, I can only wish you on this new year that God will continue to give you strength and hope for you and your family and I wanted to let you know that someone is thinking of you and praying for a miracle that will let your heart to heal. xoxoxWarm regards,Adriana


  3. All these years of reading your blog, you never cease to amaze me. This time though you spoke to me more than ever. I don't know why bad things happen to good people like you, but I do know that the example and love you show is so heart warming. This Christmas was the hardest of my life, and your words really opened my eyes and touched my heart. I will make sure my wife reads this, a few friends who have lost children. God Bless you Sharon.-Rod R.


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