When the Holidays bring Grief and Sadness

This is the last installment of my month of stories of the Holidays.

We must remember that Christmas is not a happy time for all people but can bring about feelings of grief, sadness, and depression. the nearly two years have been difficult for a lot of people in more ways than one.

My friend, Dar Myers, tells her stories of grief and how best to deal with it, not only during this time of year but all year long.

 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. 

2 Corinthians 1:3-7 KJV

COVID-19. Delta variant. Omicron variant. Country lockdown. Mandates. Loss of loved ones. Unrest and dissension in our Country. Authority in question. Law enforcement officers were ambushed and killed. Claims of bias and profiling. Rogue police officers. Demand for defunding of police. Stress. Chaos. Unanswered questions. Uncertainty of future.

Grief and Sadness

All the above can bring sadness and grief to many individuals. Today’s society has various opinions on how to manage sadness and grief and is not afraid to offer their advice. Entering the holiday season, society’s advice adds pressure to individuals to suppress grief and sadness.

This advice of they’re in a better place, it’ll pass, it gets better with time, or it’s been a year, it’s time to move on, is meant out of love. But most times, it causes more anguish.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 34:18 KJV

My World Stopped

On September 24, 2015, my world changed in a matter of five-and-a-half hours. My cell phone rang at 9:00 am; my sister, Robin, was on the line. A call from her this early was a bad omen.

Shocked, all I heard was “Jimmy, my brother, an Okaloosa County Sheriff Deputy, was shot while serving a domestic violence injunction at an attorney’s office.” Robin said they transported him to a hospital, but she had no further information.

I headed for Shalimar, Florida, the community he lived and served.

Once I got to Tallahassee, Robin called again, explaining Jimmy had died at 2:30 pm. He was shot three times, twice in the back and once in the back of the head. I headed back to Jacksonville, Florida, to await arrangements.

My world stopped.

Over the next nine months, I felt the bullets that riddled Jimmy were catalysts as flint to fire. Unable to attend the funeral due to poor health, the televised funeral allowed my mom to watch. In December 2015, she died of a broken heart; the official cause of death was a heart attack.

In June 2016, a friend of eighteen years died of a sudden heart attack and two weeks later, a fire engine driving down Mayport Road in Mayport, Florida, found my daughter’s father dead in a creek. An autopsy ruled the cause of death as a heart attack.

I was reeling, had no sense of control, and was numb. There was a sense of detachment so I could function for the sake of my daughter, who was in denial.

Memories flooded my conscious and subconscious minds. Most predominant was the sound of Taps, 16-gun salute, and Last Call. I quake, fill with sadness, and find myself shutting down to this day whenever I hear these.

Stifled Grief

Society today has what they call “Stifled Grief,” meaning we don’t speak about it. We put it in the past and try to get over it quickly so we can move on.

Most people assume grief and sadness have a solvable solution.

The new Model of Grief contends to find a middle ground, one where we can directly face the grief. By directly facing the grief, allowing the reality of grief to exist, we can focus on helping ourselves, and others, survive within or inside the pain.

Self-compassion is approaching ourselves, our inner experience with spaciousness, with the quality of allowing which has a quality of gentleness. Instead of our usual tendency to want to get over something, to fit it, to make it go away, the path of compassion is totally different. Compassion allows.

Robert Gonzalez, Reflections on Living Compassion

In David Kessler’s Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief (2019), the six stages of grief include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance, and meaning. Finding meaning has the following components to assist in the processing:

  • It’s relative and personal
  • It takes time
  • It does not require understanding why a loved one died, or loss occurred
  • When you find out, it may not be worth what it cost you

Kessler indicated loss happens to you; meaning is what you make happen.

Love Does Not End with Death


Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Matthew 5:4

Holidays and special occasions intensify feelings of loss, sadness, and personal. There are no guaranteed simple guidelines to take away the hurt. However, below are suggestions that may help.

  1. Talk about your grief. Ignoring the grief will not make it go away while talking about it often makes you feel better.
  2. Recognize your physical and psychological limits. Low energy and fatigue are residual effects. Respect and honor what messages your body is relaying to you.
  3. Avoid unnecessary stress. Do not overextend or isolate yourself. Make special time for yourself. Acknowledge “keeping busy” does not distract, but increases stress.
  4. Be with supporting, comforting people.
  5. Do what is right for you during the holidays. Focus on what you want to do, not what other want or expect you to do.
  6. Embrace your treasured memories. After the death of a loved one, memories are the best legacies that exist. Treasure them, don’t ignore them. Feel your feelings.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30


Kessler, David. (2019). Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief. ISBN13: 9781501192746

Living Observance Blog. (January 1, 2021). The New Model of Grief.


The Holy Bible. (2011), Zondervan: Grand Rapids, MI.

Wolfelt,  PhD., A.D. (N.D.) Helping yourself heal during the holiday season. Concerns of Police


Thank you so much for taking the time to read all the stories from my friends this month. I hope you enjoyed them and learned from them as I have done. May the Lord bless you in this coming New Year!

Deserted, but not Alone

Deserted, but not Alone

Have you ever been in a difficult or dark time when you felt all alone?

Did it feel as though everyone you knew had forsaken you? Maybe it was a crisis in your family or marriage and your friends didn’t know how to handle it. A difference of beliefs or conviction can drive a wedge between people and leave us feeling heartbroken and isolated.

Jesus experienced dark days near the end of his life. The men he had spent three years of his life with abandoned him when trouble arrived.

Heavily armed guards sent by the chief priest and scribes arrested Jesus after He prayed all night preparing for the upcoming universal battle between life and death. His disciples saw Him walk on water, feed thousands of men, women, and children, heal the sick and give sight to the blind; they even saw Him raise the dead. Yet, they deserted Him.

Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’” Mark 14:27 (ESV).

Years ago, my husband and I shared a friendship with four other couples. We attended the same church, dined at each other’s home, shared life, worshipped and studied God’s Word together. I loved these people as though they were my flesh and blood.

I was preparing to teach a Revelation study I had written for our class. One day during prayer, the Lord warned my husband the Bible study would come under attack.

We prayed and asked our friends to pray for the study and us as well. Halfway into the study, a division within our ensemble of friends developed. The split was not because of the Bible study but resulted from one couple walking away from their faith and God. No one knew what to do, so they ignored it. As a result, it divided us.

Because I wanted to fix it, I reached out to my pastor for advice—my friends viewed that as disloyalty. I was a snitch.

Those once close friends now treated my husband and me as if we no longer existed. It was horrible. Not only had a great friend walked away from the church and God, but our other brothers and sisters ostracized us for seeking help outside our group.

I was miserable while I continued teaching my study without them. My family sat alone during Sunday services while the remaining three couples of our once tight-knit group filled a separate row.

God did not leave me; He moved in closer.

I experienced a more intimate relationship with Him than I had never known. God healed my hurt and my wounds as I forgave those friends. We no longer see each other, but I hold nothing against them and have told them as much.

Jesus forgave His disciples, too. He restored them and used them mightily in the days that followed. He never left them nor forsook them.

Matthew 6:14 reminds us we all have debts to pay. If we forgive those who have wronged us, the Father will forgive us. If we do not forgive others, the Father will not forgive us of our sin.

 “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” Matthew 6:14 (ESV)

Will you forgive those who have left or betrayed you? It doesn’t matter whether they are sorry or have asked you for forgiveness.

God knows your pain and can heal it.

He will free you, if you ask; I promise.

Jesus came to mend the brokenhearted.

[Jesus] heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3 (ESV)