My Dad died when I was ten years old. You might find it strange that it's part of how I define myself. But it shaped who I am in many ways.
He was born on the Navajo Nation in Oklahoma, but he was raised in Texas. He enlisted in the Navy when he was only seventeen years old and during his twenty year career he was stationed in California, Japan, Hawaii and Illinois. He retired from the Navy at thirty-seven years old and got a job as an electrician. About six months later he was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and died about a month after he turned thirty-eight.
All those years when he was in the Navy and out at sea, my family was separated from him for many, many months at a time, so whenever his ship came in we were eagerly waiting to see him. As you can imagine, when he finally retired we were so excited that he'd be home full time and there'd be no more waiting! But within a year he was gone again - this time permanently. I couldn't understand why God took him away from us when we had looked forward to reuniting with him for so long.
As Christians we look forward to that glorious day when Jesus comes, and we'll never be separated from Him, or the saved loved ones we've lost in this time on earth, again. That long-awaited reunion won't disappoint this time. We'll all go Home to be with our Dad (Abba) in Heaven forever!
Maybe you've lost a loved one, even in this past year. Jesus knows the pain we suffer, just like He knew the pain He would have to suffer when He died on The Cross for our sins, and our tears, and thought it worthwhile in light of eternity.
Be encouraged that in Heaven we'll be surrounded by those who've gone before us. To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, we'll look back on our pains like a forgotten bad dream and open our eyes to the morning never to sleep again.