The holidays are hard when you have lost someone special. You always notice that they are missing but when the family comes together to celebrate a holiday, it just isn’t the same. It is like there is something missing, a puzzle piece that is no longer there, or a void that isn’t being filled.
It is important that their memory lives on and one way to do that is to find some meaningful ways to remember loved ones on Thanksgiving.
Special ways to remember those loved ones we lost can be therapeutic and beneficial for yourself and for the rest of the family. We don’t want our loved ones to be forgotten so honoring them can be one of the best ways to remember them.
Take a Trip to Their Favorite Place.
To honor your loved ones on Thanksgiving, you can take a trip to one of their favorite places. Whether it be a place nearby or somewhere far away, you can feel some comfort in visiting a place or certain area that was very special to them.
Serve Their Favorite Thanksgiving Food.
Even if it is something that doesn’t quite go with your typical Thanksgiving dinner, you can serve one of their favorite foods or dishes. Those enjoying the special dish will be remembering all of the good times they had with their loved one.
Visit the Gravesite.
Another great way to remember loved ones that you may be missing is to visit their gravesite or the site where their ashes were spread. This is a trip that you can take on your own or with other members of the family. You can make it a yearly tradition during the holidays and even bring some bright fresh flowers to put on the grave.
Create a Memorable Centerpiece.
If you want to showcase your loved ones, a fun and creative way to do so would be to make a custom centerpiece for them. The centerpiece could include pictures, their favorite flowers or greenery, and more. Go wild and crazy with it, just like they would have liked it. This is also a great way to get the kids involved. The kids can add in something that reminds them of their loved one.
Light a Candle.
Light a candle to remember your loved ones during the holidays. You can add it to the centerpiece idea above or make it something completely separate. Keep the candle lit all day long so that you and the family can catch a glimpse of it while they are mingling and reminiscing about the good old days. It will almost feel as if they are there with you.
One of the best ways to remember and honor loved ones is to share your memories of them. When the family comes together for Thanksgiving each person can share their favorite memory of their loved ones. For those who didn’t get to meet them in real life, those memories will tell a story of who they are so that they can always be remembered.
Share Old Photos.
There really is no better time than the holidays to bring out those old photos that you’ve stored away. When a loved one has passed, those photos can mean a lot to members of the family so reminiscing and looking over the photos can be a good way to remember them. If you don’t have many photos, you can ask family members attending the feast to bring a few with them.
Make a Toast to Your Loved Ones.
We toast to many things and holidays are no different. You can designate someone to make a toast or the whole family, or those who wish to, can make a special toast to our missing loved ones.
Continue with Traditions or Start a New Tradition.
If the loved ones that have passed enjoyed a special tradition that they did each year, honor them by continuing that tradition. Knowing that someone is missing can make it hard to keep going on with the traditions, but it is important for you to do so. Keeping the traditions will let their memory live on.
If there was no tradition in place, you and the family could start a new tradition that can be carried on through the years to come. The new tradition could be reenacting something that they enjoyed doing, serving their favorite dish, etc.
Missing Loved Ones During the Holidays
When you go into the holidays without that special member of the family, it can be extremely hard and emotional. Many of us choose meaningful ways to remember loved ones on Thanksgiving and other holidays because it is a great way to keep their spirit alive.
Remembering our loved ones during the holidays is a great way for us to help cope with the grief that we are feeling. Sharing those memories and keeping those memories alive can bring us comfort and give us a sense that even though they are not with us physically, their spirit and their memory is.