Personal Remembrance for the Holidays
Throughout recorded time, people have used ceremony to help with acceptance of change. In our culture, we use the funeral ceremony to honor the deceased, while comforting the living. After the funeral, many of us continue to need help around Thanksgiving, Christmas, anniversaries, birthdays, and significant occasions that bring back the feelings of grief. Personal remembrance ceremonies can be useful at these times.
Although we are physically separated from our loved ones by death, we continue to feel a spiritual connection. While we gather the items needed and perform the observance, we remember the person and honor that connection. We release the energy and stress of the hurt we may have been holding.
Personal ceremony does not need to be elaborate. It only needs to feel right to the person performing it. Some examples of acts of remembrance others have found helpful are:
- Writing a message on a helium balloon and releasing it in a special place.
- Writing a letter to the person no longer present.
- Planting a tree in honor of a loved one.
- Telling stories about your loved one.
- Lighting a candle, saying a prayer, offering a toast, putting out a picture or having a particular kind of food your loved one liked on a special occasion
Whatever you decide to do, it is important to celebrate the relationship in a meaningful way by taking your time, honoring your loved one, and closing the ceremony by thinking about how you have been touched by this person. Observances performed in private are helpful to us, and observances done with others have the added spiritual quality of being shared.
May your memories provide comfort and warmth as you travel on your personal journey of recovery.