When the death of a loved one occurs near a holiday or other personal celebration like an anniversary or birthday, it will certainly disrupt that year’s celebration. Families will often postpone or cancel any observances during the period immediately following a death. But is it possible to move on so the holiday can continue to be treated as a celebration and not a reminder of that dark time? Yes, it can but it will take some prior planning and a willingness to move on without the loved one. Here are some ways you can keep traditions alive following the death of a loved one.
Use the Time to Honor a Loved One.
When a loved one passes near a holiday, it is possible that the holiday can be associated with the death of the deceased for years to come. You can help ease that feeling by acknowledging it and using some of the time around that holiday to honor the person. It could be as simple as a toast or taking a few minutes to share fun or happy times spent with them.
How Would the Deceased Like to be Remembered?
It is unlikely the departed loved one would want the holiday to become associated with their death. They would probably want you and the family to continue on without them. It can help those left behind to honor those feelings.
Create New Traditions.
Maybe a younger member of the family would take on Mom’s favorite Lasagna or make the pudding she always provided. This change should be viewed in honor of the loved one, not as a replacement for them.
Take Up a Cause.
Many families will decide to participate in an annual walk-a-thon or other fundraisers to honor a departed loved one. They may raise money to fight Cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, Heart Disease or other causes that can provide a feeling of empowerment. These efforts often include extended family and friends.
Observe the Person’s Death Anniversary.
Plan ahead and observe the death anniversary in a loving way you are comfortable with. It may be going out to dinner with family and friends and leaving an open seat at the table or hanging a Christmas tree ornament in their honor. It could be by making a donation to their favorite charity in their name or attending a church service. Choose a way that provides comfort for you.
For generations, our family has been providing comfort for families who have experienced the death of a loved one in the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area. It can be particularly challenging when a loved one passes near an important holiday or when they were fundamental in a family tradition.
Every family will work through these times in their own way. We are here to support you. If you have questions about what may be appropriate, please feel free to contact us at Fares J. Radel Funeral Homes and Crematory. Ask about grief counseling services and even ask about Gus, our grief therapy dog. We would be honored to assist you and your family.