Remembering Loved Ones During the Holidays
It is difficult to lose a loved one, and the holidays can be a painful reminder of those who have passed away. However, remembering your loved one in small ways through the holidays can help to ease the pain and allow you to recover. Below are a few suggestions you can use to memorialize your loved one this holiday season.
Cook their favorite dish. The holidays are full of opportunities to cook and share food with the family. If your loved one liked a particular dish, then try to prepare it to share with friends and family in their honor. Don’t make so much that it overwhelms whatever else you plan to make, but do make enough to share with others.
Create an ornament or another holiday decoration. If you’re crafty, there are plenty of ways to create small ornaments and other simple, easy crafts in memory of your loved one. You can add pictures and life dates, or it can simply have a theme related to something your loved one held dear. If you aren’t crafty, some businesses can create a decoration for you with that can include any photos or information you would like.
Hold a moment of silence. Before the family meal or before everyone opens presents, take a moment of silence to remember your lost loved one. Setting aside a time to think of your loved one can bring a sense of peace, as it addresses the loss without it overtaking holiday traditions. If you need more of a private moment, choose a calm time, perhaps later at night or early in the morning, and light up the Christmas tree or menorah. Maybe use the fireplace if it’s cold. Having a private time to reflect in the subtle light of your holiday décor can be very soothing.
Start a new tradition or carry on an old one. Did your loved one always dress up in ugly sweaters? Or did they insist the kids do something silly before opening presents? Picking out a tradition your loved one started could be a way to continue their legacy. You can also choose to start a new tradition in their honor by doing something they always wanted to do.
Display old photos or turn on old home videos. Pictures and videos will allow family and friends to reminisce as a whole on the highlights of your loved one’s life. It doesn’t have to center completely around your loved one; in fact, it might be easier to handle if it doesn’t. Try mixing it up to start a conversation about the fun and exciting parts of your loved one’s life.
No matter how you choose to celebrate the holidays, or if you choose to celebrate them at all, taking time to remember loved ones is important. No matter how long it has been since your loved one has passed, the holidays can make you feel lonelier when many families are coming together and celebrating. You should only do what you feel comfortable doing, but feel free to branch out this year and remember your loved one in a new, restorative way.