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Blue Christmas

Blue Christmas Lights | Grace Notes Blog | Grace in the Leaving with Laura Hoekstra | End-of-Life Doula Services with Laura Hoekstra | West Michigan

This year, as in year’s past, my parish offered a special service devoted to those who were grieving. The holidays are hard for many of us, especially when we have lost a loved one whose presence we miss during family gatherings.

The “Empty Chair” is a harsh reminder that times have changed and will never be the same.

Sometimes it isn’t even the death of a loved one that brings sadness at Christmas or New Year’s celebrations. It could be job loss, separation or divorce, financial troubles, family dysfunction, sickness, disease or trauma. Life isn’t a Hallmark movie for most of us. Pretending we have no despair doesn’t usually make us feel any better.

When it seems we are the only one not celebrating, we need a safe place where we can bring our broken hearts and find words of comfort, reassurance, and hope.

Our Blue Christmas service invites us to come as we are. It is a space that honors our memories and welcomes our tears. It’s become a special tradition for me over the years.


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