Tag: grieving

Christmas Music For The Grieving

Christmas music took on a new meaning for me after Joe’s passing in March 2008. It was something to be avoided. It no longer brought back memories of singing carols in church or when youth group went Christmas caroling. Even recent memories of Christmas services became a blurred memory.

Christmas is a time to chipper and sing joyously at the top of your lungs. I was anything but chipper that year. Especially when it comes to the  “song-which-must-not-be-named.”

So this year I Googled Christmas music for the grieving and came upon Denny Burke’s wonderful article about Steven Curtis Chapman.   After reading the article, I went to my Amazon music account and listened to some of Steven’s Christmas albums in order screen which ones would be least likely to induce a meltdown.

Here are the three I spent listening to. They are from least likely to most likely to produce a meltdown of Wicked Witch of the West proportions. (Of course, it is entirely possible that any Christmas music will reduce a grieving person to a puddle of tears.)

Christmas Hymns (2015). As the title indicates, there is nothing romantic on this album. Now if you spouses favorite Christmas hymn is on this album, then you might shed a few tears.

The Music of Christmas (1995). There is nothing romantic that will induce a meltdown of Wicked Witch of the West proportions. However, Going Home For Christmas is about a mother’s move to heaven. Precious Promise is a beautiful, tender song about Mary and Jesus’ birth and could cause some tears just depending on your mood.

Joy (2012) Recommended only if you have been a widow for at least 5 years. But be forewarned there is a romantic song entitled Christmas Kiss, that might send you over the edge. The song is definitely not for the newly grieving spouse.

These are my opinions. Every person and every grief is different. Please review the list of songs before deciding whether or not to purchase as you need to make sure the songs will not cause you to have a meltdown.

I will keep looking for Christmas music by other artists that are appropriate for grieving people.

In the meantime, please avoid the “song-which-must-not-be-named” – Have Your Self A Merry Little Christmas. 


(Disclosure: All links are non-affiliate.)



christmas signatureBio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to encourage widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s used those skills while working as a call center team leader, facilitating a grief support group and helping small businesses with various writing and administrative assignments. Michele is a bookworm, lover of golden retrievers and an amateur photographer.


The Toughest Lesson You Will Learn While Grieving

What I have to say is painful but it is true.  I suggest you learn this lesson now, before grief strikes.

The Lesson

The following are NOT necessities in your life:

  • Your wife,
  • Your husband,
  • Your child or children,
  • Your grandchild or grandchildren,
  • Your grandparent or grandparents,
  • Your parent or parents,
  • Your brothers or sisters,
  • Your aunts & uncles,
  • Your cousins,
  • Your friends,
  • Your house,
  • Your job,
  • Your cat, dog, hamster or other pet,

These are  BLESSINGS from God but not necessities.

“All You Need Is Love”

The only necessity for your life is – GOD.

He is your sole provider.

He is love and because He is love, He will NEVER take anything away that is necessary for your well being.

He will always provide for you – possibly in ways you never expected.

His love and kindness is always there – you just need to open the eyes of your heart.

Your To Do List

Because these blessings are not forever, here is what you do:

  • Hug More
  • Kiss More
  • Talk More
  • Love More
  • Date More
  • Listen More
  • Cuddle More
  • Romance More
  • Hold Hands More
  • Play “Footsie” More
  • Say “I Love You” More
  • Say “Thank You” More
  • Leave Love Notes More
  • Enjoy each other’s company More

Do these things in remembrance of those of us who no longer have someone in our lives to do them with.

Just think of the joy you will bring and experience by doing these actions. 

I Am A Griever

I am a griever.

I am a griever in the sense that I grieve when death strikes, but then move forward with life.

I believe in the power of grieving, in the power of crying and letting grief out instead of keeping it bottled up.

However, I do not believe in forever grieving a loved one’s passing.

Why would I grieve Joe’s move to heaven every day? That would be very selfish of me. He is in paradise and to grieve over that fact 24/7 six years later is wrong.

Special Occasions

Yes, there will be occasions where grief will surface, like when his niece gets married later this year. I will go to the cemetery with a silk flower arrangement in the wedding colors. I will have a few choice words for him as he should be here to give his niece a hug and to welcome his new nephew into the family.

After leaving the cemetery I will go to the wedding and reception and enjoy myself. It will be an example of joy and pain co-existing with joy winning the day.

How I Think Of Joe

When I think of Joe, I live out what is on our marker at the cemetery:

“Think of me, think of me fondly when we’ve said good bye.”

You musical theatre lovers will recognize the song “Think of Me” from “The Phantom of the Opera.”  It  was Joe’s favorite song and sung by the character Christine Daae.  It seemed appropriate to put the phrase on our marker.

Focus, Focus, Focus

My focus is on the positive – Joe is in heaven with God, Jesus, his brother, mother, father and the rest of the Kearns family who moved to heaven before Joe.

There will come a time when your focus will also be on the positive memories and the fact your loved one is in paradise – where there is no pain and suffering and life is grander and more beautiful than here.

2 Years

If it has been more than 2 years since your loved one’s move to heaven and you are still in an active grieving mode, I have one question for you – “Why?”

Think of him fondly while moving forward with your new and wonderful life.

It will not be easy but nothing worthwhile ever is and life here is still worthwhile.

How To Handle Christmas Parties

Sing hey!  Sing hey!
For Christmas Day;
Twine mistletoe and holly.
For a friendship glows
In winter snows,
And so let’s all be jolly!

Author Unknown

If you are grieving this holiday season, you are probably not feeling very jolly. Now you find yourself inundated with party invites from friends and business acquaintances. What do you do?

You do what you have the strength to do.

Here are some suggestions for handling party invites, some of which I learned in GriefShare.

Party Invites From Friends 

Option 1 – The Party Animal – If  you feel up to going to all the parties, then do it.  God bless you for having a party animal spirit this year.

Option 2 – Private Party – Arrange a time to stop by your host’s house and spend about 30 minutes having coffee, cocoa or tea.  You might even bring a box of your favorite drink as a thank you gift.  Let your host know you enjoyed past parties and want an invite next year. Inform her it is just going to take some time to enjoy the season’s festivities again.

Option 3 – Be Picky – Pick and choose which parties to attend.  For those invitations you decline let the host know you appreciate their hospitality but can not handle the number of parties as in year’s past.

Company Parties

Client Is The Host – Talk with your boss to see if you have to attend. If you do then let your boss know how long you think you can handle being in a festive environment.

Company Sponsored – If your company’s Christmas party is a catered lunch, then fix yourself a plate and go back to your desk and eat if you do not feel up to being around jolly co-workers. If your company is having a party at a restaurant, then make an appearance and stay for a short time.

In all circumstances DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL!

It is a depressant and the last thing you need.

Final Thoughts

You will enjoy attending parties again but it is going to take some time.

Remember your loved one wants you to move forward with life and isolating yourself from parties year after year is not moving forward.

Life is to be lived – so live it to the fullest even in tough times. 

“40 Days of Joy” Series Is Back This Christmas Season

I was not going to do anything special for Christmas this year since I am back to working full-time.  However, I decided to run the 2013 edition of “40 Days of Joy” after feeling that was the direction the Holy Spirit was leading me. Normally “40 Days” runs from Thanksgiving Eve through New Year’s Day. Then I looked at the calendar and did the math.  Hold your horses folks.  There are not 40 days starting with Thanksgiving Eve and ending with New Years Day.  There are – 36!

Yes, that is right – just 36 days. So I am going to add 4 to make it 40 and run the series from Saturday November 23rd through Thursday January 1st 2014.

What You Can Expect From This Year’s Edition

The posts from 11/23 through 11/26 will focus on holiday recipes.  The remainder of the series will be posts, quotes from my motivational speaker friends, recipes and possibly even some craft ideas and/or poetry.  All designed to add a little “comfort and joy” to your season.  


Remember, despite being a widow – you do have a lot to be grateful for, even though you do not feel as though you do.

If you are not a widow or grieving stop on by anyway as you can always do with a little joy this hectic time of year. 

"Joy To The World"
“Joy To The World”