"Imagine for one moment wishing for the most precious pearl in the world to come your way, and one day finding this treasure on the seashore. You cannot believe your good fortune that you happened to walk that way that very moment. You put it down to fate to have been so blessed and wherever you go in the future, your pearl goes with you. For over fifty years, you and your pearl travel together and are never once out of each other's presence. Then, at a time when your height of happiness and contentment could not have been greater, you and your pearl are walking on the seashore again, hand in hand, and before you know it, your precious pearl slips from your fingers and is washed back into the sea from whence it first came.
There will be so many of you out there at this time of year, who also lost their precious pearl after a lifetime together and can still feel the pain of their loss. Death of a loved one isn't nice to experience by anyone at any time of the year, but if there was a time that I would ban anyone from dying and leaving their loved ones, it would be Christmas time. As is often said, 'Life can be hard, but there are times when it is almost too hard to bear.'
For all of you out there who lost a loved one around this time of year, know that if they could speak to you today, they would undoubtedly tell you the words that you are silently speaking to them, and express those loving feelings that you are now feeling for them as you think of each other. Imagine that they could exchange Christmas presents with you this year. Do not doubt that your presents to each other would be any other than exactly the same. They would wish you happiness and tell you how much they miss you and love you. They would wish that they'd done things with you they hadn't done or not done some things they had. They would wish that they'd done some things better and left some things unsaid from time to time. There is nothing wrong in wishing the dead well or even wishing them alive; such is the most compassionate and enduring feature of human nature.
Just as one can derive comfort from placing fresh flowers on a visit to their resting place this Christmas, similar comfort can also be derived by the most simple of symbolic acts that even a child can understand and healthily join in with.
This year, blow up a balloon and write on it their name and the Christmas message that meant so much to each of you. Tell them that you still love and miss them. Then, release your feelings of Christmas good-will into the heavens, knowing they will collect and unwrap your spiritual gift on Christmas morning. Alternately, write down all the things that you would say to them were they here now; seal your letter of love and then burn it. As you watch the flames consume your words of endearment to your loved one, know that they will reach their ears in time for Christmas cosmos celebrations.
Believe me, it will make you feel much better to express your feelings rather than keep them unspoken. I know; I've done it every year since my mother died. Every day I do it in prayer and every December Christmas week, I do it either in balloon form or written flames. I introduced this practice to hundreds of groups I've run over the years and can personally testify to the quiet peace that can be found within the uneasy relationship that exists between life and death. I know of so many others who have benefited enormously from this seemingly innocent action. I have found the practice to have been beneficial to all, and none more than innocent little children who have lost a parent to the ravages of some terminal illness.
Merry Christmas Mum and Dad and all the Fordes who no longer grace this earth with their presence. And a Merry Christmas to everyone at this special time of year whose loss of a loved one around this time tinges sweet joy with sweet sorrow for all the days past, for this holy Christmas time and all our tomorrows. I love you all." William Forde: December 19th, 2017