45 ways to honor a departed loved one during the holidays

45 ways to honor a departed loved one during the holidays

 The mission of My Roots Foundation is to honor our mothers and fathers.  There are many ways to honor a departed loved one during the holidays.  We want you take the time to reflect on the season and the ones you have lost.  Family is forever. Take the time to process your loses. The grief you feel at the loss of loved ones can be intense at this time of year.  When you love someone, it is only natural that you feel sorrow and grief when they are no longer with us.  While our world may feel like it is anything but normal, those around us are carrying on their lives as if all is still normal. For you, every feels anything but ‘normal.’ So what do you do?  You remember them and you honor them!  Here are a few ways to do that.  It is my hope that these ideas will help you through the holiday season.

  •  Create a new tradition in memory of your loved one.
  • Putout a ‘memory stocking’, ‘memory box’, or some special place where you and others can write down memories you treasure. Pick a time to read them together.
  • Light a candle in your home in memory of the person you have lost.
  • Hold a memorial service or candlelight vigil.
  • Include one of your loved one’s favorite dishes in your holiday meal. The aroma and taste can bring back memories.
  • If you are feeling ambitious, adopt a family in memory of your loved one.  This can often be done through a church, Salvation Army, or Goodwill.
  • Pick a few special items that belonged to your loved one and donate them to friends or family who will appreciate them.
  • Make a memorial ornament, wreath, or other decoration in honor of your loved one.
  • Send a holiday card to friends of your loved one who you may regret having lost touch with.
  • Visit your loved one’s grave site and leave a grave blanket, wreath, poinsettia, or other meaningful holiday item.
  • Play your loved one’s favorite holiday music.
  • Leave an empty seat at the holiday table in memory of your loved one.
  • Pull out the old photo albums and spend some time on the holiday looking at photos.
  • Display old photos of your loved one in a creative way.
  • Putout a photo table or create a photograph collage with photos of your loved one at holiday celebrations.
  • Volunteer in your loved one’s memory.
  • Have a moment of silence during your holiday prayer or toast in memory of your love done.
  • Donate a holiday meal to a family in need through a local church, Salvation Army, or department of social services.
  • Donate altar flowers or other holiday decorations at your place of worship in memory of your loved one.
  • Create a memorial garden or a potted plant in their honor.
  • Plant a tree or have one planted in memory of your loved one.
  • Plant a flower or vegetable garden and put in a decoration that reminds you of them.
  • Read a favorite book of your loved one.
  • Volunteer for their favorite causes, or give a donation in their name.
  • Make a charitable donation or memorial donation.
  • Make a donation to a charity that was important to your loved one in their name.
  • Hold a charity drive in their name for Christmas toys.
  • If you have been having a hard time parting with your loved one’s clothing, use the holidays as an opportunity to donate some items to a homeless shelter or other charity.
  • Buy a holiday gift you would have given to your loved one and donate it to a local charity.
  • Wear something that reminds you of your departed loved one.
  • Wear your loved ones favorite perfume or cologne.
  • Sing their favorite song.
  • Complete your loved ones bucket list.
  • Make a quilt out of their clothes or materials that remind you of them.
  • Use something they have given you.
  • Write them love letters.
  • Sponsor a bench or brick at one of their favorite places.
  • Participate in some of their favorite hobbies.
  • Frame something they have written, perhaps a poem or a recipe.
  • Commission a piece of art in their honor.
  • Display a portrait of your loved one.
  • Display a memento from your loved one’s hometown.
  • Make a scrapbook of their life.
  • Reach out to family and friends who are also grieving and share stories about the departed.
  • Create a Memorial Web Page for them.

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