Christmas won’t ever be the same after a parent dies and neither will the messages within some of our beloved songs.
In the thick of grief, we may decide to rip off the volume knob, ban any Christmas tune. Or we may sing along.
Whatever serves our healing is the right thing to do. Yes, we must allow our sorrow to spill out to find some healing, but we may temper our tears for a better time and place.
What are the Christmas songs that especially tug at your heart? Why? What words strike a chord with you?
I’ve got a bunch of songs on my list, but here are three that I’ve really been zoning in on this year.
Do these resonate with you?
- Home for Christmas. If your parents are dead, home is now only a fond memory. It isn’t a place you can go. I get a little peeved that the author of this song didn’t think of all those people who cannot go home. On the other hand, I sure am glad I had a home, a loving home. And that’s a blessed memory that offers me a refreshed sense of being loved and taken care of.
- You’re All I Want for Christmas. I sing this as if it’s a prayer. No, I won’t be finding my parents under my tree, but being reunited with them is my dearest hope. No possible material possession nor intangible thing compares. It hurts I won’t spend anymore Christmases with my parents on this earth, but as a follower of Christ, I believe I will see them again in heaven.
- Where Are You Christmas? This tune didn’t mean anything to me before my parents died. I just didn’t get why someone would have a hard time “finding” Christmas. I love that this song recognizes sometimes we struggle getting into the spirit of Christmas. We search to feel peace, love and joy.
I also love that Where Are You Christmas ends its sad premise on a happy note – that love offers us the promise of Christmas “all the time.”
Yeah, it sounds like a simplistic message. Our problem isn’t love. We are filled with love! Our grieving hearts ache with love! The problem is we cannot shower it upon our beloved. They are gone.
And yet, love is the answer. In our pain, we need to receive love, the holy, boundless love of God. The personal love of God. He knows specifically about your pain. About what keeps you up at night. He knows the thoughts that make you cry.
Our relationship with Christmas and its songs of love, hope and joy may be soured because of loss, but our relationship with God does not have to be. Oh, we may be angry at him. Talk to him anyway. Tell him what you are thinking and feeling. In his presence, there is healing. There is perspective. There is comfort.
And there is music. He sings songs to us in this, the darkest night of our souls. Love songs. They are just what our hearts need.
What are the Christmas songs that tug at your heart this year? Do you cry with them or tune them out?
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