The Longest Night: grief at Christmastime

3 thoughts on “The Longest Night: grief at Christmastime”

  1. Good Evening,

    I just received a phone call, where my father began to speak and then broke down into tears. He called because he wanted to share this post with me. My father’s cousin is a member of your congregation. It is very humbling to read something like this, then realize the author is writing about your family. My father is a strong man and full of wisdom, yet brought to tears. He was very touched by your post.

    Mary also told your story. She explained how she was so happy to be photographing your family again, that she wasn’t sure if she’d ever be blessed with the opportunity again. Knowing you were walking passed me on your way in I thought about how courageous and strong you must be. How you must also walk around with deep worries and grief. How your thoughts are similar, yet so different than mine.

    Thank you for sharing your story of this early December day. My faith was shocked when our son was diagnosed and it completely tilted when he passed. My family was not devout church goers, yet they still believed that Jesus died for our sins. We didn’t pray at mealtimes or spread the word of God with our friends, but I’ve always believed. In high school I chose to deepen my faith alongside my father’s parents. My relationship with my grandparents was rock solid and I have many fond memories of my grandmother scolding my grandfather and I in church for laughing and giggling. Grandpa’s response was the same each time, “Mary Ann, do not scold me for having fun in my father’s house!” My grandma would smile and point her finger at him and that would be the end of our fun.

    The last six years have been a journey of ups and downs; more downs than ups. My husband and I have been blessed with the most amazing family, friends, coworkers, and community; yet that didn’t even help us understand the “why” of everything. He and I are currently on the complete opposite spectrum of belief and I pray for him every day. I pray in silence, mostly at night and often with tears. The “why” will not be answered until it is my time to stand before God and even then I’m not sure I’ll know.

    Our little man precancer was silly, joyful, smart, publicly shy, stubborn, and strong. God made him that way for a reason; I’m sure of it. He knew the battle he faced and Mason faced it with strength and a smile. I can count the times he cried on my two hands and he will forever be my inspiration and hero. That young soul did more in his two and half years of life than most do in a complete lifetime.

    Back to your post…I’m humbled that you saw innocence, beauty, and happiness. You are exactly right…you never know what people are walking around with. I’d like to think we are talented at hiding our pain. Our oldest, now 11, was only 5 when he lost his best friend. He hears me say your same words all the time. Zachary continues to to see the good in everyone and always first to help someone out. He has experienced more death in 11 years than most experience in a lifetime. It breaks my heart to know this and I often wonder what he walks around with in his heart. He is a good boy and has an amazingly huge heart. As an educator I make sure to share this message of kindness, compassion, and generosity with my students, even before I teach them to multiply double digit numbers. If I can teach them anything; I pray I teach them this.

    Thank you for sharing our story and thank you for all the prayers. Our Mason made an impact. I truly believe he was here for a reason and I thank God every night for allowing me to be his Momma. I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas. 💚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Sarah, I’m so touched to hear from you and so moved by what you’ve written. Thank you so much! Mason made such a profound impact on so many people, including those of us who never got to know him in person but followed his story. He was such a light! I’m thinking of you and your family and continuing to hold you in my heart and in my prayers.


  2. This story of grief is well told. There is a void in your heart that lasts forever. We only continue on with faith and hope. The void get’s smaller with time, however it is always there. May God Bless you during this Christmas season. Again this year our family suffered profound loss, my Father in Law and Sister in Law within months of each other. Growing up, my spiritual life was rooted in the First Baptist congregation of Ann Arbor. My mind goes back in time to the wonderful sermons, and biblical lessons I learned. And the wonderful memorial of my father. Prayers for you, and your family not only during this holiday season, but forever moving forward.

    Liked by 1 person

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