I’ve heard a few stories of heartbreak as of late:
~A two-year-old girl named Skye from Skakopee, MN who fought fiercely for her life ever since she was born at 22 weeks old. She passed away yesterday afternoon and will spend Christmas in heaven with Jesus.
~Two brothers named Steven and Curt who died in a terrible farm accident on Saturday in Millerville, MN. Curt’s 12-year-old son, Alex, also involved in the accident, will spend this Christmas fighting for his life at Minneapolis Children’s Hospital.
~A baby girl named Emery whose heart developed outside of her little body in utero and stopped beating a few months later, before having the chance to join us earth side. Instead of packing their bags for the hospital as her due date nears, her parents will spend Christmas thinking of and grieving the life that could have been.
These are just three stories of heartbreak from ordinary people like you and I. So many more stories are out there, reaching all corners of the earth—stories of pain, loss, anger and despair.
It’s the most difficult time of the year.
On the other end of the spectrum, we hear of stories that exude joy and happiness:
~The birth of healthy baby Marnie who joins little sister Margaret at home this Christmas.
~The engagement of two wonderful people, my brother Alex and his now fiancé Adrienn. We are overjoyed to have her officially join our family very soon.
~The reunification of loved ones from afar—specifically, my in-laws who are home from Boston this Christmas.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
As we head into Christmas week, it’s important to keep in mind all the stories brought to the table. These stories matter. They shape the feelings of our hearts, they cue the tears in our eyes, they consume the thoughts in our heads. So while one may feel nothing but joy and happiness this Christmas, the next may feel nothing but grief and despair. Be mindful of the stories others bring to the table. Be compassionate and love them right where they’re at on this journey we call life. Hold special, sacred space for all these stories and feelings of hope and joy, of grief and despair. They are so real and deserve to be seen, heard and acknowledged for what they are.
May the true meaning of Christmas find your heart this year no matter its current state—broken to pieces, bursting with joy or somewhere in between. May you feel love amidst the story of your life right now. And may you find space in your heart to love and accept others and all they bring to your table.