Grief Mixes With Joy At St. Patrick’s On Christmas

December 25, 2018 - 4:43 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Christmas Day at St. Patrick’s Cathedral brings a range of emotions for many people. Some were overwhelmed Tuesday by a crushing sadness at the state of the world or the loss of a loved one.

Just standing outside the cathedral moved Lynn Davis to tears.

“It's just so beautiful,” Davis said. “I've lost my mom and dad, and it's just, being here, it's just so emotional. Just wish they were here too.”

That sadness is tempered by the joy of being here with her granddaughter, 1-year-old Willow.

David Fenton, Willow's father, is thinking of those closest to him on this day.

“Family, friends, relatives, bring my daughter here for the first time,” he said. “It's a magical place to be.”

Fenton's wish this holiday season?

“I want everybody to get along and enjoy life,” he said. “We work better together.”

Christine Powell came to the cathedral from the United Kingdom, even though she admits she’s a nonbeliever.

“We lost our daughter to leukemia and this is why we’re out here, because we don’t want to spend Christmas at home,” she said.

That was four years ago, when her daughter was just 24 years old.

“I didn’t go to church or anything like that, but I did believe in a God, but I’m not so sure anymore,” she said.

It's still hard for Powell and her husband to accept. He is still seeking relief. 

“I sat there this morning thinking why did she have to suffer so much and then die,” Powell said. “We do get comfort from lighting the candles and sometimes sitting in the church,” she said.

This is a Christmas tradition for Terry Mulvey and Erin McKenzie from the Bronx.

“This is our center of religion for New Yorkers,” Mulvey said. “The Cathedral looks beautiful.”

“I think we should all take a moment to reflect on how other people would want to be treated,” McKenzie said.

Ron Hake was visiting from Virginia. He said he's troubled by what he sees these days.

“There’s a lot of divisiveness in the country now. And that’s something we have to fix,” Hake said.