The call came in on Monday morning. “Georgena what do I say on my Christmas card to a friend who is dieing and his grieving family? I want them to know about our year and yet that feels funny.” Pausing to breathe into the stillness, I remembered the cards and letters that arrived that “First Christmas” after my beloved son, Reed died. I was comforted by the first sentence or two acknowledging his brilliance and what a tragedy his death was. Then I was put off. I felt and actual wall go up as the sender wrote about their year in review. Their closing “Thinking of you” just left me clod. I could not appreciate the courage it took for them to write. To reach out to me the suicide bereaved mother. So returning quickly to the presence of my friend on the other end of the phone, I said” Begin with “thinking of you as this final Christmas season unfolds. May these precious moments be filled with Love that is truly the essence of Christmas. I have chosen to share the heart of our year with you as I have with other dear friends. (Then the letter….) Holding you close in our thoughts and prayers with deepest gratitude for X,Y,Z that you are in our lives.” By acknowledging first the truth of the situation, then sharing the triumphs and tragedies of the year and finally colsing with the gift this family has been, the message is book-ended by love. When the death has occurred, I offer this as the message template: Dear______, As this “First Christmas” arrives without the earthly presence of your Beloved __________, please know that I am holding you in my heart as I send this letter to share our family trials and triumphs of this year. (Letter….) Sending Peace and Blessings all over as you surf the waves of grief this Christmas and in the year to come.

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