My “To Do” List

Mourning Coffee, by Tracy Renee Lee

Wow, it is the first week of November and already, I feel the pressures of holiday preparation.  The holiday season is a lot of work and I cannot imagine not having my husband beside me, helping me with all of the details and stresses that go into this time of year.  Party planning, festive clothing, and holiday hair are already topping my list of things I must do this week.  I have added a new category to my list this year; it is service.

Year after year, I worry and pray for those who mourn and for those who have been forgotten in nursing homes, hospitals, and assisted living facilities.  I usually add these souls to my Christmas card list and hope that they enjoy a little cheer upon receiving it.  This year, I have decided to change that practice.  I have decided to take the time to actually do something for them.  I have decided to provide service to them.





Holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and especially the yearly loss anniversary are extremely stressful for survivors of loss.

The anticipation of these important dates may sometimes be worse than the day itself.

If you have a close friend or relative, it may be a good idea to let them know that you might need extra understanding and support on these days.

(Mourning Light I, 2016)



Unfortunately, the holidays are not just a few days of increased activity and joy for those who are forgotten and mourn.  We all feel the increase of stress, the pressure of hustle and bustle, and the lack of time within our daily schedules to accomplish enormous “To Do” lists.  I cannot imagine how I would accomplish so much without the companionship, support, and assistance of my husband.  If I were to pile on top of my list, his loss, I would not be able to accomplish even the slightest of tasks.

Preparation for the holidays begins long before they arrive.  Stress accompanies the anticipation of perfectly presenting ourselves, as well as, providing activities for cheer and pleasure to those we love.  Unfortunately, loneliness, heartache, and depression, for those who are forgotten and mourn, accompany the anticipation of heightened social expectations for cheer and pleasure without the companionship of those they love.  Just as our stress begins at the start of the season, so too does their sadness.


How then, does one provide relief to those who are forgotten and mourn?  Greif Brief 85 holds our answer.





The death of a loved one can be overwhelming.

It is okay to feel overwhelmed when overwhelming events occur in your life.

If you have someone you can trust it is sometimes helpful to allow him or her to handle some of your day-to-day responsibilities.

Simple things like doing the laundry may, for a time, be too much to accomplish.

Allow this trusted person to help you by doing the simple tasks that do not require your particular attention.

(Mourning Light I, 2016)


Providing service to those who are forgotten and mourn is the best thing we can do for them during the holiday season.  

Although a survivor may seem to have completely recovered from their loss, the onset of the holiday season can shove recovery straight out of the front door.  What a glorious gift to have a friend knocking there, ready to comfort and render assistance, as the last threads of recovery slip away.  Now, that is a gift that cannot be purchased.  It is the Savior’s gift.  He was a friend to the friendless.  He came to give light, love, and redemption to the world; and he died for it.

During this time of year, set apart to celebrate the birth of our Savior, may we carry forward his mission.  That is my fervent prayer and plan.  It is the new category on my “To Do” list.  This holiday season, I shall render service, love, and share the Light of Christ’s mission, as would he, to those who are forgotten and mourn.

If we can realize that the “Reason for the Season”  is not gift getting, sparkling parties, and great hair, but to serve and share Christ’s wondrous birth and message, our hearts will change.   “A man cannot be rich until he has what cannot be purchased.”  In his absence, give that gift:  the Savior’s gift.  Be a friend to those who are alone, and share the light, love, and redemption of his mission.


My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am the owner and Managing Funeral Director at Queen City Funeral Home in Queen City Texas. I am an author, syndicated columnist, and certified grief counselor. I write books and weekly bereavement articles related to understanding and coping with grief. I am the American Funeral Director of the Year Runner-Up and recipient of the BBB’s Integrity Award. I deliver powerful messages and motivate audiences toward positive recovery. It is my life’s work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.

For additional encouragement, read other articles or watch video “Grief Briefs,” please go to my website at

Tracy Lee

Tracy Lee

My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am a funeral director, author and freelance writer. I write books, weekly articles and brief tips on understanding and coping with grief. It is my life's work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on. Please read my blog, Morning Coffee, follow me on Twitter , and visit our website for additional encouragement and information.
Tracy Lee

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