My Rashionale: This year’s Thanksgiving may be hard but know you are not alone

As we put this edition of The Alabama Baptist to bed — that’s old school newspaper talk for handing the pages over to be printed and mailed — staff members’ minds turned to preparing for Thanksgiving.

Some take the full week off for a family vacation while others are responsible for cooking the spread of food for the holiday weekend.

Others spend hours cleaning, organizing and preparing for guests while a few travel for their family gatherings — one team member even going as far as Pennsylvania this year.

During the final moments before deadline my thoughts rushed to the friends and family whose Thanksgiving will be clouded with grief and sadness.

The holidays tend to magnify how much we miss those we’ve lost through the years anyway and when the loss happens so close to the holidays it becomes even more difficult.

I’m thinking of our friend Chette Williams, Auburn’s longtime football chaplain, as he and his family grieve the recent loss of 18-year-old Chette Jr. 

I’m thinking about a high school buddy and his sisters who said goodbye to their mother recently.

I’m thinking about a dear friend who is separated from his daughter right now.

I’m thinking about close friends and family who are desperately missing their precious children.

I’m thinking about a sweet friend who knows this will be the last Thanksgiving with her brother; and another friend who fears the same for his brother.

I’m thinking of the young couple who are trying to survive the holidays for their children’s sake but aren’t sure they will make it much past the new year.

I’m thinking of a grandmother who prays desperately for her grandchild to find his way through the current bad patch.

I’m thinking of several families working around dementia-related issues as they attempt some type of Thanksgiving experience.

I’m thinking of several who will be alone on Thanksgiving and the days that follow, whose Nov. 28 will look the same as every other day in November.

I’m thinking of so many others who will power through the holiday weekend in survival mode.

If your name could be added to this list then please know we are here for you. We would love to know how we can pray for you and to hear your story if you would like to contact us.

Also know you are not alone as you walk this path. Sweet Alabama Baptists truly do exist all around you and would love to be part of your support system.

Look past the fear of being a bother, the not knowing what to say or even the guilt and shame, if that’s an issue. Reach out and let others in to help carry the load.

I’ve learned it’s OK to take some time to walk through grief and pain and do the best you can in that moment — and to truly work through it all rather than attempting to stuff emotions and just move on.