Cheryl Ashlie.

Cheryl Ashlie.

Letter: Speaking their name a most precious gift

Cheryl Ashlie’s Christmas column last week touched us deeply.

Editor, The News:

Re: What I found under a towel on Christmas morning.

Cheryl Ashlie’s Christmas column last week touched us deeply.

So many families will face this holiday season having lost a child, a parent, a grandparent, or a friend. They will struggle to make peace with this new reality as we did back in 2001, when our son, who Cheryl spoke of, left us.

Those people who surround you when your lives have been shattered, who stay with us in these hours of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing, and face us with the reality of our powerlessness, (Henri Nouwen), those are true friends.

This year, as always, I will look for that picture of Clay, our son, tucked in the tree at the Ashlie home. I know at dinner someone will share a story of Clay. It will be music to our ears to hear his name spoken out loud and his memory kept alive.

Although this year we lost my father-in-law, the last of his generation in our two families and a wonderful man, the spring will bring a new child to the clan and the natural order of life will continue.

For those people who will struggle to know what to do this Christmas for friends and family who have suffered a loss, especially a child, from a parent who has been there, sharing a memory, speaking their name, missing them also, is the most precious gift you can give.

Gay Conn

Pitt Meadows