Coping with a the loss of a loved one can be difficult around special days like the anniversary of the loss, weddings, graduations and of course,the holidays. One way to cope with grief during the holidays is to honor that person’s memory with a tradition or ritual. In fact, it’s been found that creating a ritual can help lessen the impact of loss.
Below are five rituals that include the lost loved one, as recommended by bereavement experts:
1. Cemetery Visit – One of the most traditional ways of honoring a loved one is to visit the cemetery. Some people leave a wreath or flowers. If you’re too far to visit the cemetery or if your loved one does not have a traditional resting place, another option is to donate flowers to their place of worship.
2. Candles – Lighting a candle in honor of a deceased loved one is a beautiful way to include them in your traditions. Many will read a poem or a say a few words in memory of the one they have lost.
3. Plant a Tree – Planting a tree or starting a memorial garden is a reminder that while the person you love is gone from our lives, they will always live on in our hearts. Once the tree is growing, you can decorate it each year or add plants to your memorial garden.
4. Ornament – Remember your loved one with a special ornament that hangs on a Christmas tree or another place in your home. Choose an ornament that best represents the person you love. Some ideas include:
- A plaque engraved with their name
- A custom photo ornament
- A favorite sports team
- An angel
A star that reminds you that while you may no longer see them during the day, they are still always with you
5. Christmas Stocking – For those who celebrate Christmas by hanging stockings, include your loved one’s stocking as you have in years past. But instead of gifts, fill the stocking with notes and stories from your family about the person you all love.
If you are struggling with grief this holiday season, please call 1-888-564-3405 and speak to one of our bereavement coordinators. We also offer complimentary grief recovery groups throughout the year.
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