By: Adam Reeson
The holiday season is special for Canadian families. We pick out a tree, freeze in the cold and watch our National Junior Hockey Team go for gold!
Although the Christmas season is a favourite time of year for many, it can be difficult for families who have lost a loved one. Regardless if it was last month or decades ago, the missing person at Christmas dinner can be a painful reminder of how much we miss our loved one.
For those of us dealing with the holiday blues, here are 3 Tips for Remembering Loved Ones Over The Holidays:
1) Acknowledge the ‘Elephant in the Room’
If you are having melancholy feelings around the dinner table, odds are that the rest of your family is too.
Sharing holiday memories about your loved one can help relieve the tension and allow everyone to support each other instead of being alone with grief.
Sharing a laugh over “when Mom burnt the turkey” or when “Dad almost accidentlay started the deck on fire” (true story in our family) can be healing and allow you to relax and enjoy the holidays.
2) Start a New Tradition
It is healing to reflect on the past as a way to remember your loved one, but it’s also not a bad idea to start a new tradition in their memory. This doesn’t need to be complicated, just a simple gesture done together with family to keep your loved one’s memory alive can be meaningful and special. A few ideas are:
- Make a unique tree ornament as a memorial to them.
- Before everyone sits down to dinner, say a few words and have a champagne toast in honour of them.
- After opening gifts on Christmas morning, take a trip to the cemetery and leave a wreath at their grave.
- Do an activity together that your loved one used to love to do (ex: skating, skiing, board games etc.)
3) It’s OK to Have Fun!
For some of us, having fun or enjoying the holidays despite the fact that our loved ones are gone can leave us feeling somewhat guilty or uneasy.
This is perfectly natural, but the important thing to remember is not to beat yourself up about it. Keep in mind that our loved ones would want to see us happy and enjoying ourselves. So whatever your family traditions are, do your best to relax and have a good time. The greatest tribute you can give to your loved one is to enjoy the comfort of family and friends, smile, laugh and make this year’s holiday season memorable!
For Frontier Monuments, I’m Adam Reeson