“The greatest gift is love” is a phrase that flows so sweetly from the lips of the Andrea Bocelli family in their newest album, “A Family Christmas”. It’s that time of year when the Christmas music has begun and the yule sales are being advertised, and the aisles are showing the sparkling addition of festive ornaments. If you have experienced the death of a precious family member, then just seeing the term “Christmas” might be eliciting big feelings. While each season of the year has its milestones and markers that cause grief upsurges in the bereaved, Christmas, for many, because of the family traditions that it is built around, is the most difficult time of the year after loss. While the airwaves are ringing with the sentiment that “It’s the most wonderful time of the year….”, the heart of many bereaved are feeling the opposite. If you identify with this, we want you to know that we hear you. We see you. We wrap love and light around you and understand that these reactions need to be acknowledged and honoured and given space to process. While the album title “A Family Christmas” may cause a grief reaction, the melody and meaning of the song within the album, “The Greatest Gift” offers a balm for the suffering soul this season.
“The greatest gift is love”. It’s true. Of all the gifts in the world, the greatest gift truly is love. And therein lies the rub: love is the whole reason we grieve. Queen Elizabeth II, who will be mourned by her own family this Christmas, gifted us a quote that has resonated in the bereavement communities ever since she said it after 9-11: “Grief is the price we pay for loving”. She was so right. It is because we loved deeply that we grieve deeply. And, it is that love that will be the greatest gift in healing your ache of grief. Through this trifecta of love, healing can happen:
• Loving yourself enough to exercise the self care you need for healing
• Loving your beloved in a whole new way that leaves you feeling connected
• Loving Life and the gifts it still has to offer you
Each Christmas, W.J.Jones & Son Funeral Home in Moose Jaw offer the Mourning Star Christmas Service for the Bereaved. This year it will take place December 8th at 7:30 pm. In the serenity of our sanctuary, we offer a Ceremony to nurture the Bereaved, honouring their pain, their love, and all that the season evokes. This year, we will draw on the theme: “The Greatest Gift”, inspired by the Bocelli family, and we will gift each attendee with a memorial ornament to signify that meaning. And it is our hope that the love we pour into that time together will be healing for the hearts of those who gather, and a support for their journey through the season of Christmas.
The Greatest Gift this Christmas is still the love, even if it does feel like grief.
“Gather friends and family 'round the table
Remember those we love no longer here
Together take a moment and be grateful
For the joy, for the tears”
(words from “The Greatest Gift”)
Peace to you this Christmas from W.J.Jones & Son Funeral Home
Written by Della Ferguson, Funeral Celebrant and Grief Support Worker
474 Hochelaga St. W. Moose Jaw
306.693.4644 or 306.694.5500
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