Honoring Lost Loved Ones this Holiday Season

woman sitting on couch feeling grief and sadness

While the holidays can be a time for happiness and celebration, many of us experience an increase in feelings of grief at this time of year. Unexpected and challenging to navigate, grief can feel like your holiday guest who showed up at your celebration without an invitation.

Yet, it is important that you acknowledge and honor your feelings.

If your grief is tied to a person that you miss, we encourage you to incorporate your loved one into your celebration - even though you can't celebrate together. Below are a few suggestions. 

  1. Eat something they loved
    Food is comforting and tied to many memories. Try honoring your loved one by going to their favorite restaurant. Or recreate one of their favorite recipes.
  2. Share a story they told
    Retell one of their favorite stories (it's okay if you don't remember all the details). Or, invite family over and take turns sharing memories of your loved one. You could also host a sharing session with friends where you each take turns sharing about lost loved ones.
  3. Make a memory book
    Print some photos of your loved one and make a collage or a memory book. You can include clippings of things they loved, places where they traveled and more. Let your creativity run wild.
  4. Watch a favorite show
    Did you have a favorite show or holiday special that you watched together? Host a watch party - or just snuggle up on the couch with a box of tissues and watch that favorite show. 
  5. Listen to music that they listened to
    Put on their favorite artist or holiday tunes and turn up the volume.
  6. Do something they didn't get to do
    Was there something your loved one talked about doing but never did? A vacation they wanted to take or a hobby they considered taking up? Make a plan to do that thing yourself in the new year. You'll remain connected to your loved one and help to carry on their spirit.

No matter how you choose to honor your loved one, we wish you peace and healing this holiday season.