The holidays can be a wonderful time of year. A time to gather with family and celebrate food and togetherness. But…there are sometimes people who won’t be at these meals until we all meet together in heaven. They passed on, died, or are no longer with us. Choose whichever term you want since different people will react differently to these phrases.
As a personal trainer I get to see an often more hidden side of life. The struggles we all have with relationships, health concerns, stress, and even dealing with death and loss. You get to know on a deeper level the highly skilled Doctor, the super successful entrepreneur, the big hearted teachers aid, the overwhelmed nurse, the mom at her limits, the TV personality, the pastor, the plumber, and so many more.
We all have so much more in common than we have differences.
Me personally...I'm missing my step grandpa (Bill) he was at every holiday every year with my Grandma for my entire life. But, not now he won't be coming.
I can only encourage you with the encouragement I have received. It comes from my faith in God and my trust, hope, and salvation in Jesus Christ. I believe there is something better than this life for us. I believe in heaven. I believe God is a good parent, better than me.
The empty seat or seats don’t need to be ignored. It hurts they are no longer here. For Thanksgiving I think we are gifted with a great way to remember them. Gratitude for the time we had with them. As the saying goes, “It’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved.” They had an impact on our lives and will always own a piece of our hearts.
We need to remember and shed tears but we also need to remember how thankful we are that there are other chairs with real currently alive humans in them. (even if thanksgiving finds you alone, there are seats in your life filled with people who care about you). In my head (and heart) I need to picture it like this. We are all at the table someone gets up to pee. We don’t stop talking and hold our breath until they return. We chat with others. Maybe have a laugh or two. Tell a story. The party continues. We'll see them soon.
Remember to give thanks and gratitude for the butts currently in the seats around you. Enjoy a few light hearted moments. That is after all what your loved ones would want you to do anyway.
Remember the empty seats while investing time, energy, and heart into those still in their chairs around you. If you need someone to talk to I’m available but I’m not a counselor. I have a friend Denise who holds space for those who are grieving. You can contact her here [email protected]
If it gets too dark and you need to talk to someone day or night please use this crisis line. https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/mental-health-wellness/emergency-services/crisis-call-line.aspx
God Bless and please know we care about you!
Jeremy “tall trainer” and the rest of the team
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