The Empty Seat

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?

We miss the ones who go before us and leave a seat at our table empty, yet we celebrate they are in Paradise with Jesus. Yes we celebrate hope in our grief.

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.

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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…

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