Helping People with Loss at Christmastime

With all its songs of joy and love, family gatherings, and festivities, Christmas can be a very hard time for people going through loss. Dorothy Low is a hospice nurse and missionary on the Tohono O’odham Nation Reservation in Arizona. Through her role in the community, she has the challenge and privilege of walking with families during some very difficult times. Below she shares some of the highlights from the Christmas season:

“For the last several years, we have provided the community with the opportunity to remember family members that have passed by leaving a memory card on a Christmas tree. This has continued to be appreciated and well utilized by community members. People are remembered many years after they have passed. We also leave Carenotes about holiday grief with an invitation for people to take what they can use. Thank you for your support to provide the Carenotes as well as for your prayers for those who are still grieving losses.”

Memory Tree

A memory tree helps people honor lost loved ones. (PC: Dorothy Low)

“Of course, the most important part of the Christmas celebration is to remember the events that happened in Bethlehem. Tradition has been for children’s programs to be presented on Christmas Eve. This was the program at the Sells Presbyterian Church. The adults included several community children that did not know the basics of the Christmas story. Pray that this will open the door for further ministry to these families.”


The Nativity Play at the Sells Presbyterian Church. (PC: Dorothy Low)

“Two different hospice situations stick in my memory from the Christmas season. We are taking care of one family that live in very humble circumstances. Because of your partnership, I was able to take them a food box on Christmas Eve with some things that I thought would make their holiday special. Their comment was that they had forgotten that the next day was Christmas. Pray they will realize their need to deepen their spiritual life in 2016. The other family lost their loved one on Christmas Day. Pray that they will not experience a cloud over future holidays because of this loss.”

“Thank you for your ongoing partnership. You are a blessing to me and to those that I come in contact with.”


Christmas is over, but opportunities to minister to those suffering a loss are still available. Do you know someone who could use some encouragement today? Send them a note, give them a call, take them a meal – do something kind for them.

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