Celebration is such a wonderful part of life. We get to share in other people’s joy as we recognise a person or significant event. We often meet up with loved ones, eat together and share wonderful experiences.
But for many, celebrations can bring painful experiences to the surface. They can be a reminder of someone who is no longer here, or can bring to mind dreams that have not yet been fulfilled.
This weekend we celebrate Father’s Day in the UK and I am so thankful for the ‘Fathers’ in my life. For my own Daddy who is so steady, wise and dependable, for my father-in-law who has loved and accepted me as his own daughter and for my husband the wonderful father to my children.
But I am also reflecting on friends who have lost fathers, who would make wonderful fathers but have yet to see this dream fulfilled and who don’t have a good relationship with their father. This could be a painful time for them. I want to be sensitive towards people in my life who find celebrations difficult. I want to show love and care – to be able to celebrate with an awareness of how difficult it might be for others.
Jaime Thurston writes about kindness in her book ‘Kindness the little thing that matters most’. She says,
‘On celebration days, spread kindness to those who may be struggling’.
It can be hard to know how to do this and there is often not much you can do to change something that has happened or take away their pain. But you can love people in their pain and that can make all the difference.
I remember having a summer full of weddings just after I had had a miscarriage. It was hard as part of me didn’t want to face people, never mind celebrate. Another part of me didn’t want my struggle to get in the way of someone else’s celebration. I received kind words that gave me strength, but there were also some thoughtless words which made things difficult.
Let’s be ready to show kindness and during times of celebration by considering those who may be struggling.