The Hinsdalean - Community journalism the way it was meant to be

Loss can remind us of blessings


Last updated 12/4/2019 at 9:11pm | View PDF

I was listening to the radio the other day when I heard something that resonated with me deeply.

The radio host was talking about the significance of family during the holiday season and the emotional impact this time of year can have for those who do not have close family or have recently experienced a loss. It can be extremely difficult to share in the holiday cheer for many, especially when the people around them are celebrating so publicly and extravagantly.

The short radio talk concluded with an empathetic statement in which the host remarked how those who are fortunate enough to have family around them could be mindful of those who do not during this time of thanks and gratitude.

Personally, I look forward to this time of year. The dinner my family shares every Thanksgiving is special in my heart and reminds me of how important family is. My family is extremely close to one another and my biggest support system.

However, the patriarch of my family, my grandfather, recently experienced a loss that I could not even begin to understand. His older brother passed away suddenly in their home land of Syria the day before Thanksgiving. My grandfather was devastated and my entire family left reeling after seeing the strongest man we know look so disheartened. But come the following day, Thanksgiving, I had never seen my family so strong before. We banded together as one and supported one another during this time of thanks. The loss my family experienced reminded us all of how much we have to be thankful for the blessings we are given.

Although I am fortunate enough to have the family that I do, I am well aware that many do not. If there’s any time to feel isolated from those around you, it would be in these long winter months.

As a community, however, I feel that we have a duty and the humbled opportunity to give back and help those in need. That could involve hosting a neighborly holiday dinner, volunteering at a food pantry or inviting those around you who are visibly in need of some holiday cheer. I know I will make a conscious effort to help those around me.

— Cedra Jazayerli, a junior at Hinsdale Central, is a contributing columnist. Readers can email her at [email protected]


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