This time of year is one that is typically marked by twinkling lights, holiday decorations and time spent with loved ones. The holiday season should be filled with warmth and joy, but for some, it can also be marked by a sense of emptiness and longing for those who are no longer with us.
While grief is constantly changing, you may find that the upcoming holidays intensifies your feelings of grief and loss. It may feel instinctual to avoid your feelings of grief or pretend that everything is fine, but that might not be the best course of action in the long run.
The caring team at Science Care has gathered a list of ideas to honor your loved one during the holiday season:
- Display old photos in an album where visitors can look through them and reminiscence about the loved one who is no longer with you.
- If you haven’t already, create an online tribute celebrating their life.
- Invite friends and family to join you in lighting a candle in memory of your loved one who has died.
- Purchase or make a holiday ornament that memorializes your loved one.
- Donate your loved one’s coats to One Warm Coat, a nonprofit that aims to provide free coats to children and adults in need.
- Consider giving favorite shirts, sweaters, or blankets a new life as teddy bears, blankets, or throw pillows that can be gifted to family members who also miss this loved one.
- Choose a passion of your loved ones and donate or volunteer in their honor.
- Prepare your loved one’s favorite meal or dessert and invite friends or family to enjoy it with you in their memory.
- Reach out to the people around you or consider attending a support group for grief. Your loved one would want you to have support you need.
- Visit or spend time in a place where you feel close to your loved one.
- Take time to honor a cherished holiday tradition of theirs. It may feel difficult at first, but you might find watching their favorite holiday movie or listening to their favorite holiday songs brings back memories of sharing those favorites with them.
The most important thing to remember is that there is no right or wrong way to move through this season. Make sure to touch base with people close to you, plan for what feels best, and have grace with yourself.