The holidays are a challenge when a loved one is no longer with us to celebrate. How can families celebrate when grandpa isn't there to carve the turkey? Mom was the one who loved to decorate for the season-- who will take over? Who says the prayers? Who makes the mashed potatoes? It can be overwhelming. But, traditions can be carried on in a way that honors your loved one-- while helping you move forward.
Four Comforting Practices That Help With Holiday Grief
- Ornaments - Holiday decorations that remind you of a loved one can be comforting at this family-oriented time of year. As an ornament placed on the tree or a new candle holder is lit in honor of someone--a new tradition is begun that holds that person in your heart.
- Charitable donations are a positive way to pay tribute to a family member and help others. Consider making a contribution in the name of your loved one, perhaps to their favorite charity. In this way, their memory carries on through your generosity.
- Invite memories from your family & friends. Those first family gatherings can be uncomfortable as everyone adjusts to the absence of a family member. When you sit for a meal, encourage everyone in turn to share a memory. It can be very healing to tell funny and touching stories of the person whose absence is very noticeable.
- Start new traditions - Small changes-- perhaps adding new treats to the menu or inviting new faces or going to a movie-- can be positive activities where you might not feel the loss of your loved one so keenly as those activities you always did together.
Laughter and tears can be shared while new memories and traditions are made...
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