‘It’s okay to have conflicting feelings’: Lincoln funeral home holds Blue Christmas

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – While the holidays are usually full of happiness and cheer, it’s not the case for every family.

Roper and Sons Funeral Home chose a special way to recognize those who are grieving a loved one by hosting a Blue Christmas service Sunday afternoon.

The tradition began in the United States around 1990, but this is the first year the funeral home has held it.

“It seems like everyone’s feeling really joyful, and there’s a lot of manufactured laughter and a lot of bright lights or loud noises,” said marketing and outreach coordinator Rebecca Shane. “For some people, if they’ve lost a loved one either this past year or anytime around this time of year, their absence seems especially noticed.”

Blue Christmas is meant to embody the idea of ‘feeling blue,’ and provides a safe space for those grieving the loss of a loved one, and recognizing the loneliness that can occur during what’s supposed to be the happiest time of year.

“This’ll be the first holiday season without my grandfather, he actually just passed about two months ago,” said vocalist Michael Jensen. “It’s really a comforting thing to be able to be in a space where you can feel how you feel.”

The service is also known as the Longest Night service, as it’s usually held on or near the Winter Solstice and negative emotions often hit their hardest.

“It’s okay to feel however you’re feeling this time of year, and it’s okay to have conflicting feelings of sorrow and joy, missing someone and loving them dearly,” said Shane. “However you’re feeling is an okay way to feel.”

Those who went to Blue Christmas were able to take home a small blue candle to remember, and symbolize, their loved one who might be missed this year.

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