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"A Merry Christmas to You"

Christmas is once again here. My family has always treasured this season and we still do. But Christmas is certainly different. How can it not? This is our third year that my father hasn't been with us and that tinge of sadness is felt, especially on certain occasions. Each of us has shared how different the holidays are without him. Surprisingly, there is some comfort in knowing that we understand one another on this level.

I know of some (at this very moment) who are finding this holiday to be a painful one. You feel alone, physically and emotionally spent, or just empty inside. It's ok. You're not alone. Every month I meet someone who shares about someone they lost. I realize the Christmas tree, the holiday shows, the race for last minute shopping, and even the Christmas parties just don't cut it. I've been there before, but trust me, you won't always stay there. Hang on and don't give up.

My family and I continue to celebrate the Christmas holiday. We do our best to treasure our times and reminisce on memories we had with our dad/husband. As we look back and share stories, we find ourselves laughing at things my father did during Christmas - things he did with my brothers and I, or my mother to make our Christmases extra special.

As you face this first Christmas or perhaps yet another year without that special someone, I encourage you to somehow focus on what you do know about your loved one. This certainly doesn't remove the pain, but it does give you something to hang on to with certainty - that being, the significant role your loved one had in your life. Choose to remember those things and share them with others. You'll be surprised at how healing those memories will be for you, including those you share them with.

As a family, we extend our warmest wishes to you this Christmas. We are very grateful to God for carrying us each day, and we trust he will do the same for you.


- The Agoglias