Radio Show

Fatherly Advice: Dealing with Grief Around the Holidays


In this podcast, Fr. Dave and Brett offer advice and consolation to parents who recently lost their son. Fr. Dave reads a message from a listener, Jackie, who writes, “Our 33-year-old son was killed in a car accident this past September. How do we get through birthdays, holidays, or even parties?”

Father Dave explains that he lost his father around the holiday season, and that it brought him closer to his extended family. Brett also shares that he has lost friends around the holidays: ”It seems like these [the holidays] are going to be horrible events; that’s not necessarily the case. Being with others in a time like that might be the one thing that would help. It’s being surrounded by community that would pick you up in that dark time.”

RELATED: Friends Through It All: Life, Death, and Grief

As the conversation progresses, Father Dave addresses a common concern from people who are mourning: “Sometimes we think we’re a burden if someone needs to console us or minister to us, but it’s quite the opposite.” He explains that a recent guest who suffers from chronic pain said that helping others is what distracts her from her pain. Father Dave goes on to say, “So, if you are someone in need, in need of consoling or someone to be there for you, you may very well be doing a favor for that person. So, don’t think of yourselves as a burden during this holiday time.”

Father Dave also mentions Blue Christmas services for people who find this time of year particularly difficult, and he encourages anyone struggling to search for a Blue Christmas service in their area. These services offer a space to worship and pray with others who may be going through similar experiences.

LISTEN: Helping Those Who Are Grieving

Father Dave explains that our sadness can be a way to encounter our loving God by praying through it and being honest with God about what we’re feeling. “It is very possible that [people who are grieving] are struggling with God and faith. How can this happen to us? We’re in that fist-shaking mode. To that question, I would answer, realize that that is okay. We actually see that in Scripture and tradition, where God honors and welcomes that; and wants us when we are in that dark valley to reach out to him.” (Original Air 11-16-17)

Photo credit: Nathan Anderson on Unsplash