In the days leading to Christmas, I went to three wakes as three people passed away: a father of a former office mate; a very good family friend of my parents who had been sick for six years; and the wife of our family driver. The first two people were in their 80s while the wife of our driver was only 51.
On the net, I read about the passing away of Pyro, the brave little boy (not even 5 years old), stricken with cancer, who had earlier wished to meet the famous wrestler Batista, and did. In the papers, we read about the mother and two sons who perished in a fire, caused by Christmas lights, at Corinthian Gardens.
Christmas is meant to be a happy season. It is a time for parties, get-togethers, and rejoicing. The passing away of loved ones can be anything but happy. It is highly stressful. It is sure to be lonely. We will miss people whom we have gotten used to having around.
We can take comfort in the thought, though, that our loved ones and friends are now with the One Who loves them more than we do. That they have gone on ahead of us to meet us at the place where we too shall be someday. Christmas is all about Christ and coming together. With Christ, we can rejoice, even as we grieve for we know that death is not an end but a new beginning. It is about coming home to a place where Christmas never ends.