The Holidays are often the hardest for those who mourn, bringing back memories of loved ones absent. Here in the Midwest, the end of the year gets more difficult for those grieving when the new season makes the days grow shorter and nights grow longer.
Yet, there are a variety of creative opportunities to take comfort, find healing, and honor your loved one’s life during this season. Even in times of great grief, there are ways to participate, engage, and give back to your community. Grief is devastating, but you can rise above it by stepping into remembrance with deep gratitude and joy.
As the Holiday season approaches, here are a few creative approaches to honor and remember your loved one:
Choose a community agency or charity, one your loved one appreciated perhaps, and consider giving a gift in their name. Families may give gifts during a difficult Holiday season in the form of volunteering their time, shopping for a family in need, providing canned goods, giving coats or clothing, or giving financial support in honor of their loved one. There are many ways to remember a loved one’s life, and giving a gift, no matter how small, can be one of them.
Step Outside Tradition
Make the Holidays, during a time of grief, entirely different from what you’ve done in the past. This might look like delivering Thanksgiving meals, distributing groceries, helping build a Habitat Home or starting a new tradition. No one option is better for this kind of activity than another, but a change from tradition can help. Some might even choose to celebrate the Holidays this season by traveling, getting away from home and doing something entirely different, to get a change of scenery.
Use this Holiday season to create a personal way to remember. This might be inviting everyone in the family over to enjoy a treasured story together or bring a favorite picture of their loved one to the family meal so that they still feel a part of the moments spent together. Or, maybe it could mean creating a family moment of silence or lighting a candle together in honor of the loved one. Talking about that person, telling stories, or naming their name around the dinner table creates opportunities to draw near to one another and the one you miss.
For those feeling the deep sorrow of loss, finding solace in a grief support group can help. Joining a circle of people sharing similar experiences of grief during the Holiday season may provide encouragement and great comfort. You may hear ideas of how others are planning on coping with the Holidays or connect to other opportunities to celebrate the life of your loved one. Loose offers grief counseling services and a community-wide Annual Remembrance Service with music, words of support, and a beautiful candle lighting ceremony.
Seeking out community and unique ways to honor the life of your loved one can help you on the path to healing during the Holidays.