As I reflect on the wonder and awe that Christmas can bring, my heart is heavy as I think of those close to me who have recently lost someone dear to them. Those I love who are spending this special day, of all days, without someone they love. Perhaps for the first time.
Husband. Father. Mother. Son. Sister. Brother. Daughter. Grandparent.
I ache as I imagine how difficult it must be to face this day with that deep and abiding loss. I search for meaning. And for answers: What does it all mean? Why?
It seems so wholly and intrinsically unfair.
What cheer can Christmas bring to those who are suffering so profoundly? Is it not just another glaring reminder of the one(s) they are without?
I have struggled with feelings of how undeserved and unjust it all is. That this day, of all days, should be faced with such deprivation.
Is there any cause for happiness and celebration?
Is there any contentment to be found for those who are filled not with delight on Christmas, but with tender sorrow?
It is my prayer and longing that there is.
That those who have lost someone precious and adored can find joy on this day.
That the knowledge of the events that transpired thousands of years ago, that we now celebrate, will bring peace to their hearts.
That the uncomplicated essence and meaning of Christmas will bring comfort.
As I think of the babe, laying in the manger, in a cold and squalid stable whose birth we commemorate this day, I think of the hope. Of the unconditional and profound love that this simple birth represents for us all.
Because He came, there is meaning to our mortal existence.
Because He came to earth, we have a perfect example to follow.
Because He came, we know how to reach out to those in trouble or distress, wherever they may be.
Because He came, we gather to worship Him.
Because He came, death has lost its sting, the grave its victory.
We will live again. Because He came.
-Thomas S. Monson