Sometimes Christmas is hard.

It’s hard when you are missing someone at the dinner table or waiting for someone to walk through that door who will never show up.

Sometimes Christmas is hard.

It’s hard when the turkey and mashed potatoes are served up with a side of grief.

It’s hard when you can’t buy gifts for someone you love so much because they live in Heaven.

It’s hard when there won’t be any presents under the Christmas tree from the one you miss the most this year.

Sometimes Christmas is hard.

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It’s hard when you can’t make new memories or take new pictures because someone is missing.

It’s hard when you are wondering and hoping if they are having a good Christmas without you.

Sometimes Christmas is hard.

It’s hard when you lose people and the list for gifts gets shorter and shorter each year.

It’s hard when the old ornaments and movies bring back memories of when they were still here.

It’s hard when your heart is broken but everywhere you turn there is talk of joy.

It’s hard when you are crying in the bathroom and then wiping away your tears before walking into a room full of those filled with the holiday spirit knowing that your heart is broken

Sometimes Christmas is hard.

But then you realize that even though someone is missing from the table they aren’t gone because you carry their memory with you.

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Then you realize that even though you can’t take new pictures or make new memories the old ones will mean more than ever before.

Then you realize that even though the list is shorter, the seat is empty, the tears are falling and you wish they would walk through that door and surprise all of you know if they could then they would.

Sometimes Christmas is hard but you realize that they never really left, Christmas just looks different than you had planned but they are always there in your memories and the stories you share.

This post originally appeared on Grief To Hope with Nikki Pennington


Grief is messy and can feel so lonely. It’s OK That You’re Not OK is a great read for anyone who is grieving or supporting a loved one through grief. Don’t have time to read? You can listen here, on Audible.

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Nikki Pennington

Nikki is a stay at home mom to three, high spirited boys. Three years ago she became a motherless daughter after losing her own mom to terminal brain cancer. When she is not playing the role of referee for the boys, she spends her days trying to encourage and inspire others that are on the grief journey. Read more from Nikki on her blog: