Joy and Grief at Christmas

My sister lost a dear friend on the weekend. Eva Peters, her husband Bill, and their daughter Lilly were almost finished the long drive from Ontario to Alberta, where they were moving to work and live on a horse farm/resort.  This was a dream they’d had for some time but the opportunity had come as a surprise. So on fairly short notice,  they packed their stuff and left for a new life in another province.

The picture you see was taken last Friday night. That’s Eva on the left, my sister Tammy on the right. Bill and Eva and Lilly said their goodbyes and left on the long journey. On Sunday night, on a snowy road – just 20 or so kilometers from their new home – Eva lost control of the vehicle she was driving and went off the road and was killed.

She was just 31-years-old…

Many in our church community are grieving. Eva was dear to us, Bill was one of our elders. The funeral is Saturday – the day before Christmas, so as you can imagine there are a lot of mixed emotions here.

Here is a song I came across yesterday that’s fits the occasion, sung by one of my favorite singers and writers, Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls.

There’s Still My Joy

I took my tree down to the shore
The garland, and the silver star
To find my peace, and grieve no more
To heal this place inside my heart

On every branch I laid some bread
And hungry birds filled up the sky
They rang like bells around my head
They sang my spirit back to life

One tiny child can change the world
One shining light can show the way
Through all my tears, for what I’ve lost
There’s still my joy
There’s still my joy
For Christmas day

The snow comes down on empty sand
There’s tinsel moonlight on the waves
My soul was lost, but here I am
So this must be amazing grace

One tiny child can change the world
One shining light can show the way
Beyond these tears for what I’ve lost
There’s still my joy
There’s still my joy
For Christmas day
There’s still my joy for Christmas day

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