Being Alone On Thanksgiving Day When You Are Ill

ARE YOU GOING TO BE ALONE ON THANKSGIVING? There are so many people who will not be with a loved one. Fiona shares in this devotional, how when we are ill, sometimes we end up alone on days like this and how she stays hopeful, despite the loneliness. #chronicillnessAre you ever alone on Thanksgiving? Fiona shares her story. . . And how she has changed it for the better.

“Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.” (Psalm 55:22)

Thanksgiving is usually considered the beginning of the holiday season. However, the beginning of the holidays can often be more depressing rather than celebratory. For those of us who don’t have a family or are unable to visit family due to health problems, it can be especially difficult. We hear others talk about their Thanksgiving plans and see the joy in their faces, knowing that they’ll be seeing their loved ones and spending time with them in celebration.

I have lost count of the amount of times I have had to be alone on Thanksgiving. My husband’s family lives several hours away and I simply can’t ride that long in a vehicle. All that’s left of my own family is my dad, and he lives out of state. So, it’s always me–by myself. I usually buy a turkey dinner ahead of time from a local restaurant and I sit at the table, alone, eating my dinner. I have a difficult time with this.

The one time my husband decided to stay with me rather than go to his family’s big Thanksgiving dinner, I could tell that he was really wishing he could have gone to be with his family. While he tried to hide the fact from me, I could still tell. After that, I told him that he was always to go and that I would be alright staying at home alone on Thanksgiving by myself. What I didn’t tell him was how much I wished I could have gone with him and how alone I felt.

During those times, I’ve had a hard choice to make. I can sit and cry and feel depressed, which only adds to my health issues as it causes me stress, or I can handle it differently.

A few years ago I thought If God is with me all the time, He’s with me today. Thanksgiving is not a different day to Him. So since then, it’s God and I sitting at my dinner table on Thanksgiving.

I know it may sound silly to some that I sit at my table and look at an empty chair across from me, while eating my dinner. But I know it’s not empty. I know that God is right there with me, even if I cannot see Him. And I talk to Him. I thank Him for what He has done for me, what He has done for my family and I simply enjoy His presence. I am no longer alone on Thanksgiving.

I can tell when my husband comes home that he feels relieved to see that I’m okay instead of sad and depressed, as it’s a difficult choice for him to make. But I feel better knowing that he’s had the joy of seeing his family and I have the joy of knowing that I’ve gotten to spend time with my heavenly Father.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to stay focused on You so that I don’t become sad or depressed. Help me to give thanks for what You have given me and help me to not focus on what I don’t have. Help me to feel blessed regardless of my circumstances and I thank You that You are here with me, regardless of what day of the year it is. Amen.

About the author:
Fiona Burky is a retired Licensed Clinical Counselor who lives in Ohio. It is only by God’s grace and strength that she has been able to endure her multiple health issues. You may view her blog at:

Are you going to be alone on Thanksgiving? How can you change your perspective to make it a day of refreshment rather than depression?

Hillsong sings “Through it All” in this video that we will believe calm your soul and offer sme refreshment, especially if you will be alone on Thanksgiving.

7 Responses to Being Alone On Thanksgiving Day When You Are Ill

  1. WOW Fiona! I can really feel your pain of not being able to go with the family on outings & so difficult for your dear husband too. (We go through that too.)

    What a beautiful image though of: “God and I sitting at my dinner table on Thanksgiving.” Thank you! This was a great devotional of turning a trial into a triumph.

    We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here in Australia. I pray that this Thanksgiving will be even more intimate & precious with the Lord, than ever before for you Fiona. Hugs. Lotsoluv Kerryn

  2. Thanks Kerryn. I will be ordering my Thanksgiving dinner later today, and tomorrow it’s me and God :)

  3. I pray that you have a wonderfully intimate dinner with the Lord, Fiona. I am thankful for you! Bless you. Lotsoluv Kerryn

  4. Fiona, it is hard to be alone on the holidays.

    The only way to face the circumstances is to face them as you have – realizing you are not truly alone.
    As one who lives alone, I am so used to it that the holidays somewhat ease on by. I do have times with friends but not always on “the day” of the holiday. My family ( brother, nieces, nephews ) dynamics have changed a lot since my Mom died and everyone huddled around her or got together.

    That said, I can understand how it has taken time for you when in your life before the illness limitations, you could easily go and be with family and your husband.

    Has it ever worked for you and your husband to celebrate Thanksgiving ( or other holidays ) together but on a separate day from the actual holiday?

    God bless you! I do understand.

  5. Thanks, Lynn. I did spend yesterday alone but it went good. Had decent weather so was able to play a little with my dogs outside, talked to my dad on the phone and had Thanks. dinner with my Heavenly Father.

    When I’ve been unable to go for Christmas, my husband and I have had a small celebration on Christmas Eve. but he feels it’s just not the same. I think it’s easier for me as I honestly don’t want to add to my pain so I can rationalize not going, but he’s so used to being around his large family that he can’t understand why it doesn’t bother me more. There’s no way I would have been able to travel yesterday and I think staying here was the best thing for me.

    I’m sorry to hear that you live alone but it sounds like you’re adjusted pretty well to it. Thanks for the encouragement!

  6. Fiona – thanks for letting me/us know that your Thanksgiving day went well.
    It truly sounds like you made the best decision for you and more so in hindsight as you recognized how you felt yesterday.

    Oh, don’t feel sorry about my living alone. I have never married ( you can feel sorry for me about that!!! :)) and when my roommates years ago kept getting married, my last move has remained just that – 38 years ago and on my own.

    It takes adjusting as the years have gone on, not as busy as before and with family configurations changing, the holidays are not what they used to be with large gatherings.

    Take care as we head to Christmas!

  7. Fiona, praise God that you had a good Thanksgiving with Abba, Father. I often find that I have more energy when the family head out, guessing you do too. Bless you & your family as you continue to juggle health needs & family needs.

    Hugs, prayers & blessings to you & Lynn. Lotsoluv Kerryn

Click on a tab to select how you'd like to leave your comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *