How to Memorialize a
Loved One During the Holidays
this time of family gatherings, religious services, baking, decorating and
shopping, many of us are experiencing the grief that comes with the loss of a
loved one. The added burdens that COVID-19 brings can make a loss feel even
more difficult to cope with at this time. There may be some reluctance to
celebrate when a loved one won’t be present, regardless of when the loss
occurred. The smallest things – especially this time of year – can trigger
tidal waves of grief, be it the smell of a favorite dish, an empty place
setting at the table, a song, or your family’s favorite traditions. Grief can
greatly diminish your holiday cheer. If you’re mourning a loved one this
holiday season, it’s ok, and normal. Here are some ways to honor and remember them
while helping cope with your grief.
may, at times, seem impossible to see beyond your grief. Incorporating their
memory into your holiday season can help ease the pain. We have a few ideas to
help you and your family memorialize your loved one(s) this season:
Frame a picture of them and place it on your mantle or turn it
into an ornament for a tree. Here at Miller-Jones, we hang photographs of our own
loved ones on our company Christmas tree.
Make a hand-made cookbook with their favorite recipes and gift it
to family and friends (or keep it for yourself).
Create a playlist of their favorite holiday (or non-holiday) songs
and play it at gatherings, or pop in your earbuds when you need some downtime.
Adopt a pet from a local shelter in their memory. Animals have
proven benefits for helping people through grief.
Visit and decorate their resting place. Write a letter or holiday
card to them and place it at the site or somewhere at home.
Donate goods or services in their name to a local charity or cause
can be physically and mentally overwhelming, and it may be challenging to find
ways to cope when your mind is elsewhere. Here are a few tips to make sure you are
taking care of your needs:
Talk about your grief. You’re allowed to grieve and express your
thoughts and feelings. Whether it be to a family member, close friend, religious
leader, or therapist, it’s healthy to express what you’re dealing with.
Create boundaries with your time. This is crucial for avoiding
holiday burnout. If you need to take time away from certain activities, do it,
so you can recharge. It’s ok to decline invitations, or to leave events when
you don’t feel like being there anymore.
Set realistic expectations. Remember, it’s normal to grieve.
Understand that this time of year can be especially hard. There’s no shame in allowing
yourself to feel your feelings.
Practice self-care. Check-in with yourself regularly and meet your
needs. Whether it be a hot cup of tea in the evening, journaling every day, reading
a book, watching a movie by yourself, or simply resting – take that time.
is committed to helping our community through loss, at any time of year. We
offer many online grief
support resources. They include counseling, group grief support, daily email
affirmations, and interactive videos that are available 24/7. To start, we
suggest visiting our grief support
You’re also welcome to give us a call at any of our locations and we’ll
answer any questions you have: (951) 658-3161.
those of us who have experienced the loss of a loved one, the holidays can be
more agonizing than joyful, and unwanted emotions can easily overtake the
spirit of thanksgiving and cheer that typically hallmark the season. Whether
this is your first, second, tenth, or even fiftieth holiday season without your
loved one, your emotions are not at all uncommon, and they’re absolutely valid.
At the same time, it’s important to try and manage that grief while still
celebrating the season. There are many unique and meaningful ways to honor your
loved one this holiday season – have a conversation with your family and
friends about starting a tradition in memory of your loved one. You might find
it brings comfort, and one day, even joy.
From all of us at Miller-Jones, we wish you and
your family peace, joy, and good health this holiday season.
Proudly Serving the Communities of Hemet, Sun City, Menifee, Perris, San Jacinto, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore, Romoland, Beaumont, Banning, Murrieta, Temecula, Riverside