Featured Real-Life Story

From Grief to Gratitude at Christmas

The following was written by Jean's sister (depicted in the print titled, "Joan") just three months after her husband, Merril passed away of pancreatic cancer.

After several days of celebrating Christmas with friends and family, I found myself wondering if anyone missed Merril as much as I did. I know that people don't always know what to say to me and so they resort to the usual "How are you?" Sometimes I wish someone would say, "I sure miss Merril" or "It's just not the same without Merril." Of course that would probably be too close to our hearts and who wants to bring up tears at a party? But at least I wouldn't leave wondering if anyone noticed Merril wasn't there. The truth is, I have no doubt that people miss Merril. It's just weird for me to watch life go on as if nothing ever happened.

So I was pondering these feelings today and the Spirit whispered to my mind that God must wonder the same thing about His Son. Do we remember Jesus, who He is and what He did for us? Are we so busy that we don't even think about Him? That has to be hard for Heavenly Father to watch. It's ironic, especially at Christmas, that we don't miss Christ enough to stop, sit quietly and remember Him. Instead, life goes on as if nothing ever happened.

So I fell to my knees and expressed my gratitude to Heavenly Father for sending His son, for blessing me with the knowledge of Christ's teachings and for allowing the Savior to suffer so I don't have to. I asked for forgiveness because I am so easily distracted. And lastly, I committed to do better to remember my Savior continually. After all, it is because of Him that I will see Merril again.