The Secret of Dealing with Grief and Loneliness at Christmas Time


Christmas is a joyous season for most of us.

It’s a season of joy; a time to enjoy family and friends; a time to be happy.

But what if it’s also a season to grieve?

What if you’re in a season of grief this Christmas?

Grief comes to all of us.

Grief is an intense sorrow or something that causes keen distress or suffering.

This is the stuff of life. We will all suffer loss.

There is the feeling of losing something dear when change happens, when a loved one dies, when we move, when a season of life comes to an end, or when a relationship dies.

We want to know life as it was before the loss happened. We want to continue as normal. We don’t know if we will ever be happy again. And then, in the middle of it all, there is the loneliness.

Loneliness is a painful feature of grief

In her book, The Path of Loneliness, Elizabeth Elliot says:

The pain of loneliness is one way in which He (that is, God) wants to get our attention (for) our hearts are lonely till they rest in Him who made us for Himself.

Loneliness is a hurdle of grief, especially when you are grieving the loss of close family.

Elizabeth Elliot who lost her first husband to martyrdom on the mission field, and her second to cancer, says:

Our loneliness cannot always be fixed, but it can always be accepted as the very will of God for now and that it turns into something beautiful.

The grief of Job

Consider the musings of Job in his grief, “My spirit is broken, my days are cut short, the grave awaits me” (Job 17:1).

At the end of the book of Job, he eventually comes to know that whatever had happened to him would work out for his benefit, for our benefit. (See also Romans 8:28.)

Job is able to say to God, “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2).

The grief of Jesus

Consider also the words of the man of sorrows who was well acquainted with grief: ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ and know that because he was forsaken, because he took on our sin on himself, and the Father turned his back on Jesus for a moment of time, we are NOT forsaken. No, never!

Not forsaken in our grief, not forsaken in our loneliness, for we know that God is for us, God is with us, God is in us.

God is with us in this season

  • Emmanuel, God with us at this Christmas time!
  • Emmanuel, God with you in your grief, in your loneliness.
  • Emmanuel, the one who wants you to rest in Him who made you for himself.

May I add, at this season of Christmas, let’s remember those among us who grieve and do something that lets them know we remember and we care.

How are you able to see Christ in your grief and loneliness?


Alison Ward

Alison is married to Steve; they have two married daughters, and five grandchildren, and live in Gauteng, South Africa. She has pastored with her husband for thirty-three years, has a nursing background, and recently completed a master’s degree in leadership and coaching. Alison is passionate about teaching the Bible and partnering with women to fulfill their gifts and potential.


2017-12-08T10:55:16+02:00 December 2nd, 2016|Categories: Advent & Christmas, Depression, Grief, Loneliness|Tags: , , , , |8 Comments


  1. Lerato December 8, 2015 at 4:54 am - Reply

    Great words, just what i needed in the mist of confusion and this festive season i am turning all my attension to My Creator.

    • Alison Ward December 8, 2015 at 9:19 pm - Reply

      thanks, Lerato. Be blessed as you look to Jesus this Christmas time

  2. Debbie December 11, 2015 at 8:31 pm - Reply

    I am going to be spending Christmas alone. It is a very lonely time but I will just keep believing that Our God has a Master plan for me, Jesus will Execute it an the Holy Sprite will bring it to pass. Yes I will never stop Believing that something Amazing is going to happen to me.

    • Alison Ward December 26, 2015 at 8:36 pm - Reply

      Debbie, I pray that the Holy Spirit uses you at this time and that you will know his presence, his will and his plan in your life even in loneliness , much love to you

  3. Kathy December 26, 2015 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    Thank you for understanding what I could not put into words. It’s hard to know that we are not forsaken when you feel so empty and spiritually broken .

    • Alison Ward December 26, 2015 at 8:49 pm - Reply

      Kathy, you are not forsaken by our Lord Jesus Christ. “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.” Ps 138:8

  4. Patricia Tee December 5, 2016 at 6:15 pm - Reply

    Lost my beautiful sister and brother-in-law tragically in an accident just before xmas, no matter how hard I try I just hate this time of year even thou I have beautiful children around me at this time of year, so I hide it so not to spoil the time for everyone, all I can do is pray that December goes quickly and that the Lord just gives me the strength to bear the grief.

    • Aldyth Thomson
      Aldyth Thomson December 23, 2016 at 8:07 pm - Reply

      Our deepest sympathies to you, Patricia. I pray that the pain will not stop you from enjoying your beloved children this Christmas and that every year the pain will become that bit more bearable as you thank God for every remembrance of them. Much love, Aldyth Thomson

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