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Some people are spending their first Christmas without someone this year. When you’ve lost someone, all this Christmas cheer can highlight the grief in your heart. Your family and friends are getting together, except not all of them. You’re missing someone important, and you know the holidays won’t be the same without them. Now it’s time to find a new normal.

A new normal for Christmas is not particularly fun, but it is important. You aren’t learning how to replace someone or to forget them, but you are learning how to continue life without them. It isn’t easy, but let God give you peace. Talk about your loved one, to God and to others. Remember good things. Do good things. Find good ways to handle your new normal. I’ve seen this and I’ve been in this. Let God and others surround and help you.

For those of you who are trying to comfort someone who has lost a loved one, be there for them. You might have encouraging words, you might not. But do be there and ready. Let them know you love them. Be ready and willing to help them with anything. It might be awkward or uncomfortable sometimes. They might say they don’t want it. But don’t give up and don’t overbear, just be there.