This past 10 months or so has seen its share of heartache for so many. It wouldn’t be difficult to bring to mind families we have served during this past year who have experienced quite overwhelming tragedy. The part we have all played here in serving those families has, I hope, eased their burden if only a little. As I write this message, my mind flashes back to times when I have witnessed clapping from gathered family and friends as cortege’s pass by, the loss of those who were from all ages and backgrounds, small groups of permitted mourners at all Funerals and the absence of so much from singing to continuing the celebration of life with a bite to eat and a glass of something. Funerals certainly, but not as we know them.
This year I have a renewed sense of what matters. The love of those near and dear surpasses and outshines earthly possessions hands down and I am fortunate that this Christmas I will be spending it with my partner Deb, her daughter (who is living with us temporarily) and Deb’s Mum (as she is in our bubble). If the circumstances permit Sarah will be joining us too. I am truly blessed! In my prayers I will thank God for the blessing of Christmas, the joy of sharing it with those who matter to me and, as Sarah and I always do, we will spend a moment in quiet reflection and raise a glass to our own absent family and friends. Since Sarah and I spend 10 hours a day working closely with each other I’d hope there’ll be a hug at some point too and whether or not that happens, I will think of everyone who cannot do that this year whatever their circumstances because one of the greatest joys in life is the love that is shared and that’s never better demonstrated than with a hug.
I know that for many who will read this, 2020 has been the most dreadful year. So, I hope that this Christmas, you are able to remember with love and thanks and in some way celebrate the lives of those who are special to you but no longer with us and above all I pray that in doing so you find peace.
May the blessing of Christmas and the joy of the birth of Christ our Saviour bring you peace and happiness wherever you are.