Empty. You feel so empty. You hear Happy Holidays, Happy Thanksgiving, Seasons Greetings and Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas, yet they echo hollowly in your head. For there are times Thanksgiving and Christmas are far from merry for many of us. When our holidays aren’t merry, unique challenges exist for everyone in the home – and in the family.
How can we not give thanks at Thanksgiving or not be merry at Christmas?
Great question. For me, it was the loss of my 20-year-old college aged son that created an empty seat at our table. For others, the loss of a parent, grandparent, spouse, sibling, niece or nephew, in-law, friend or child creates a whole begging to be filled and a seat at the table that remains empty.
A miscarriage or stillborn baby leaves empty arms and broken hearts that desperately need healing, yet the hurt is so very real. That empty seat is a car seat. Deserted. Yes, many times these precious family members feel deserted. By God, by life, by family and friends who don’t know what to say, so they stay away.
So what do you say on that day when hearts are broken and feelings are frayed? I learned three things that matter.
PS – I gotta go gather some pictures to put at that place set for Kyle. We’re gonna get some stories started soon. Somebody seems to add a new twist to the old tales each year. And this year, we will set a place at the table for Dad. Can’t you just see Granddad and grandson celebrating with The One who saved them?
Oh, yea, you may want to put some tissues on the table too…
16 thoughts on “The Empty Seat”
Very beautiful post. Just being alive is something to be grateful for.
Such a great post. I wrote a comment on Julie’s page. I just love how you’re helping others.
Such a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing.
I’m praying for you this holiday season, Susan. Your brave words have often given me comfort in my own losses and I’m so glad you’ve found the strength to share your story. Rest in His comfort, dear friend.
I’m so sorry for your losses, Susan. May the Holy Spirit draw near to all who mourn during this season that focuses on family!
Hi, where do I sign up for linkup reminders to come in my mailbox. Love your linkup and want to participate more. PS thanks for linking up with us at the #LMMLinkup again this week.
I’m sure the holidays are such a tough time for those who’ve lost a loved one, like you, Susan. Thank you for bringing insight to a very difficult situation. Thanks also for the linkup!
Thanks for the good advice. Much appreciated.
Hi Susan, thank you for sharing your post on The Empty Seat at #omhgff, always love your visits.
I too will have an empty seat, not literally though as I live out of state. But my mom is not around for the holidays. I just know she’s doing a whole lot better than we are since she’s in heaven with a new body. This thought gives me great comfort.
Thanks, Susan, for words of hope and positive steps to take so that grief becomes a shared thing and help sits all around the table.
Yes to all of this. As someone who has experienced loss myself, I can attest to the fact that all of these matter.
Beautifully said, Susan. Thank you for this.
We all have empty seats, Susan. The number gets higher each year. One day we will sit at the Marriage Supper of The Lamb and there will be NO EMPTY SEATS. NO TEARS. Only Joy and Fullness of HIS GLORY! Blessings and a big hug to you. xo
I agree! Praying these words bring GRACE, COMFORT, AND PEACE this season. And thank you both for sharing your words and hearts!
Have a great weekend!
Susan- thank you again for sharing your post! It is so helpful for us to learn how to keep the memory alive when we aren’t sure what to say or how to act when someone loses a loved one.
I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving!
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