Create a gratitude book. Place a photo or two of your loved one in the book. Ask guests to share a memory or a thought about the loved one who has passed away.
Create a small display of items that your loved one treasure. This can be a private display, so those who prefer to be more discreet in their grieving may know it represents their lost loved one and visitors may not need to know that it is a memorial display.
Some families find it very comforting to set a place at the table for their beloved one in honor of his/her memory. Share a reason each of you at the table are thankful for having known the deceased.
Decorate your tree with your loved one’s ornaments and decorations, add a few new ornaments each year so your tree shows the continuity of life.
Create a memory book of holidays in the past that you spent with your loved one and share it with family and friends by displaying it in your home.
Dedicate a small tabletop Christmas tree to your loved one. Hang lights, ornaments, and small photos on the tree.
Make your loved one’s favorite holiday treats and share memories of baking and cooking with your loved one. Offer recipes written out for each of your guests, so they can make or pass on these favorites.
Send a holiday card to someone that was special to your loved one, for example, an old friend that too is missing him or her during the holidays.
Actively allowing yourself to include your lost loved one during the holidays can help ease your feelings of grief. But, grief is very fluid. Here are a few tips about managing when a wave of grief hits or when missing your lost one wells up and doesn’t seem to dissipate.
- Take time to be alone and to rest.
- Exercise lightly every day.
- Eat healthy food as poor nutrition can become a factor that triggers fatigue and a depressed mood.
- Talk to a friend or confidant.
- Pray with a friend.
At Willwerscheid we want to extend our best wishes for a joy-filled holiday season. Hopefully, one or two of these ideas on how to honor your lost loved one will bless you and your family.