What do you say to someone who lost the love of their life and they have to go through the Holiday season on their own?
What do you say to them?
You don’t say I am sorry.
You don’t just invite them to mindless dinners.
You don’t ask them how can I help.
And please don’t assume that because they are with you and not alone at home they must be better off.
That you have done what you could and got them out of the house.
I know, I know. It sounds not so nice of me to say.
But I know you want the truth, I know you care about the person in your life who has lost so much.
And you wonder what is the best thing to do.
Well, when they are surrounded by people who have everything they don’t, it hurts them.
Please do invite them over of course, but be mindful, the joy of the holidays brings sorrow.
It reminds them of what they don’t have multiplied by one thousand.
So when they walk in, greet them by smiling in a knowing way.
Talk about the person who passed.
Be the friend or the family member who is not afraid to hang with them and talk.
And no small talk please.
The only thing required is your presence.
Look them in the eyes.
Hold their hands.
Put your arms around them when they are pretending to smile.
Show them that you see their pain.
Don’t run away from those moments.
When happy music is playing, they will often go to the bathroom to cry.
You don’t have to be like everyone else lost in your own festivities.
Look for them especially when everyone is talking about politics or making stupid jokes about the weather.
Reach out then.
I guess what I am asking for is your courage to be present with their grief when everyone else is festive.
I know, it is not an easy thing to ask for.
Casseroles and gifts would have been easier than giving them your soul.
Your eyes. Your embrace.
But I know you can do this. Be with them like nobody else will.
P.S. My love is with you in the next few days. We got this.