There’s no way around it, after someone important dies the holidays are often never the same again. Traditions, events, parties, songs, movies – the grief triggers are everywhere. Avoidance and denial are popular coping tactics, but we suggest a different approach. Instead, try keeping your loved one’s memory alive by continuing to make them a part of your holiday days.
Here are 10 ways to remember loved ones during the holidays:
1. Display old photo albums in a location accessible to holiday visitors. People can’t resist a well placed photo album. Before you know it you’ll be reminiscing and telling stories with family and friends.
2. After a loss it can be hard to part with your loved ones belongings. The holidays present the perfect opportunity to give away some of these things, especially if you are someone who always wants to make sure that old treasures go to good homes. Wrap up a few of your loved one’s old things and give them to family and friends who will appreciate them. Write a card letting the recipient of the gift know why you chose to give them this particular item. Sure they will adore the gift and the sentiment.
3. Create a special place for people to write down memories. May be a memorial book or may be create an online remembrance on inmemoryglobal.com and invite friends and family to share their memories .When everyone is gathered together, read the memories aloud.
4. Donate to a cause in your loved ones name. Try and choose a charity your loved one would have supported. During the holidays churches and places of worship, local food pantries, homeless shelters, soldiers and their families, nursing homes.
5. Volunteer your time to others in need. You might choose a cause your loved one worked with or supported. If your feeling lonely, try a retirement home where you can sit and talk to those you are helping.
6. Light a candle in honor of your loved one. Leave it burning during days when you think you’ll miss them the most.
7. Set a place for your loved one at the dinner table. Would it be too hard to see the seat left empty? Invite someone from your loved ones past to dinner.
8. Visit or spend time in a place where you feel close to your loved one. You could also spend time watching their favorite holiday movies or listening to their favorite holiday songs.
9. Give a framed photo of your loved one to people who also miss them.
10. Take care of yourself. Remember that your loved one would have wanted you to have the support you need.