Welcome to February

For as long as we are loving there will be the losing.

Welcome to February. Is it just me or do you find yourself finally exhaling that deep breath signalling the REAL New Year?

Starting somewhere in October (or maybe that starts much earlier for you), the plans swirling around on the family group chats about who’s hosting Christmas, what each is to bring to the table, sourcing Christmas lists to buy all the right gifts for each family member, and juggling the extra Pre Christmas events.

It’s a lot.

But for most of us there is a whole other layer that is fighting for a place in our hearts and minds potentially dulling the joy and raising the emotional stakes outside of the normal realms.

Welcome Grief.

While others are the planners, list makers and organisers I find my thoughts being drawn to wondering how do we continue to honour, remember, speak and hold sacred those who will not gather with us. Some have been gone many years some just a short while, but the struggle is real and raw. The burden of emotions is heavy and sometimes it can be the simple act of opening the suitcase of Christmas decorations that unleashes the flood gates of tears or the rising dread of deep sadness that for most of the year is ticking away quietly in the background. The pep talks begin early for me on how to manage my emotions that are threatening to spill over as the swirl of planning and excitement ramps up all the while I am counting how many of “these” have we done without them now. It is not always tears that are the tell-tale indicators, it can be seen at times as a lack of interest, a procrastination to join in with the plans or just plain withdrawal from overwhelm.

There is also a growing number of family members that gather around our Christmas table each year with many having never known some of the key people we so dearly miss. This in itself can be tricky to handle, having the right amount of remembering without the solemn mood that can come with that.

Throw in there a birthday for me too.

I just celebrated a New Year’s Eve birthday and am now 1 year older than my mum was graced with. In March our son turns 18 which signals 18 ½ years since I held and told our eight-year-old daughter I loved her.

The nephew that doesn’t get to sit around our table anymore means that I am not the only one in my family that is struggling to give grief and joy the right amount of presence during this season.

Even after all these years it is still a challenge, one I have to be very conscious about. I am very aware that my grief has the ability to rob not only my joy but those around me. Which is the last thing I want to do when there is so much to be thankful for and so much love and laughter and hope to be bathed in.

I see grief a bit like a coat that just seems to get weightier as the days creep towards the holiday season. I have a vintage Wool and Llama hair coat hanging on a hook at my front door that belonged to my grandmother and then my mum. When I think of grief it reminds me of that heavy and slightly scratchy coat that needs to be hung and acknowledged, not out of sight and tucked away in the back of a dark cupboard but not worn on a daily basis either.

So how do I balance the weight of grief with the joy that the presence can hold. If I’m honest not all the successfully at times. Just ask my family, they will tell you “Mum just needs to chill”. We recently went and had some family fun together, throwing axes (yes it is a thing) interestingly though to be a successful “axe thrower” you need to have a loose grip on the axe. Needless to say, I was not very successful at throwing axes. As I discovered it is not only my tight grip on my life that needs to be relaxed.

So here are three things that I try and keep at the front of my thinking when circumstances sneak up on me.

Grief attempts to derail…


Being grateful that I had the love of those I now miss.

Grateful I can share their lives with those who didn’t know them.

Grateful that my story allows me to have compassion and empathy to hold and encourage others.

That God has chosen to write my story this way for a reason I don’t actually need to understand.

Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants you to do.
– 1 Thessalonians 5:18

I thank my God every time I remember you.
– Philemon 1:3


Holding fast to the anchor of hope to see me through the heavy days.

The hope and promises that eternal life will see me reunited with those gone before.

Let your hope make you glad. Be patient in time of trouble and never stop praying.
– Romans 12:12 (CEV)

With all my heart, I am waiting, Lord, for you! I trust your promises.
– Psalms 130:5 (CEV)

Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the Lord.
– Psalms 31:24 (NKJV)


Do life with people.

Allow people to hold, support, encourage you.

This can be often the hardest of all three. Allowing someone into that intimate space that is filled with grief.

In allowing others into that space, we can then learn how to walk with others in their times of need and we all know that our burdens are made lighter when we share the load.

Finally all of you, be like minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.
– 1 Peter 3:8

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
– Ephesians 4:2

I read recently wise words from a grandmother…

“In difficult times, you move forward in small steps. Do what you have to do, but little by little. Don’t think about the future or what may happen tomorrow. Wash the dishes. Remove the dust. Write a letter. Make soup. You see? You are advancing step by step. Take a step and stop. Rest a little. Praise yourself. Take another step. Then another. You won’t notice but your steps will grow more and more. And the time will come when you can think about the future without crying.”
– Elena Mikhalkova

This advice coupled with knowing that we have a gracious and loving heavenly father that will hold us through the journey of grief is what sees us getting up and heading into each new day.

For as long as we are loving there will be the losing. There will be hard, dark and unbearable times too.


Be kind, be gentle, take small steps and big breathes, remain grateful and hopeful and let others love you and walk alongside of you.

Here’s to a Happy New Year beginning in February.

Bron Bassett

Bron Bassett

Eastlaker, Wife, Mother, Teacher

Bron is a beloved member of our Church. She is a devoted wife, a teacher and a mum to three beautiful children, one whose home is in heaven now. She continues to live a life of faithfulness despite loss and carries herself with grace. She is an inspiration to all those who cross her path!