The holiday season is traditionally a time for joy, celebration, and togetherness. However, for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one, this time of year can be particularly challenging.
Memories may serve as a constant reminder of a loss, and some families may experience heightened stress and sadness. Feelings of grief may be rekindled as children reminisce about previous memories or as they create new ones.
There are special ways in which you can remember a loved one during this time and share in connection as a family. The following ways may be helpful:
1. Create a Memory Corner
Set up a dedicated space in your home with photos, mementos and items that remind you of your loved one. Encourage family members to contribute their own memories, creating a shared tribute.
2. Light a Memorial Candle
Light a candle in memory of your loved one during the holiday gatherings. This simple act can serve as a powerful symbol of remembrance and bring a sense of connection for your family.
3. Incorporate Traditions
Incorporate your loved one’s favourite holiday traditions into your celebrations. Whether it is a special recipe, a favourite activity, or a cherished decoration, these elements can serve as a comforting link to your loved one.
4. Write a Letter
Write a letter to your loved one expressing your feelings and updating them on your life. You could also encourage family members to write down their favourite holiday season memories of your loved one, creating a beautiful keepsake.
5. Give Back in Their Name
Consider making a charitable donation or volunteering in honour of your loved one. This act of kindness not only honours their memory but also contributes positively to the community.
Here are specific tips for grieving kids:
1. Open Communication
Encourage open conversations about feelings during this time. Provide children with a safe space to express their emotions and ask questions, fostering an environment of understanding and support.
2. Create a Memory Box
Help children create a memory box filled with items that remind them of their loved one. This tangible collection can serve as a source of comfort during difficult times. Click here for specific instructions for this activity.
3. Include them in Rituals
Involve kids in creating and participating in holiday rituals that honour the memory of their loved one. Active participation can help them feel connected and included.
4. Establish New Traditions
While preserving existing traditions is important, consider establishing new ones together that are specifically designed to celebrate and remember the person who has died. This can provide a sense of continuity and growth.
Navigating grief during the holiday season is undoubtedly challenging, but finding meaningful ways to remember and honour your loved one can bring a sense of comfort and connection.
Our community has also shared some ways that they remember their loved one during the holiday season and Christmas time. Click here to download their tips.
If you need help guiding your grieving kids through Christmas, click here for tips to prepare grieving kids for the holiday season.
Also, self-care for parents is important during the holiday season so click here to read our guide to help you.