Supporting Children Through Grief’s Journey

Grief is a natural response to loss, and children experience it just as deeply as adults. However, their understanding and expression of grief differ depending on their age and developmental stage. As a parent or caregiver, you can play a vital role in helping your child navigate this difficult journey. Read more

Navigating the Tough Conversation: How to Talk to Your Kids About Death

We’ve often heard the phrase that death is an inevitable part of human life. And that’s true because all of us will eventually move on from our ephemeral world at some point. This concept is easy enough to grasp for adults. But what about children?  Read more

How do I remember departed loved ones on Thanksgiving?

Some parts of the world are celebrating Thanksgiving. This holiday is seen as a time of gratitude, reflection, and togetherness. As we gather with family and friends to celebrate the many blessings in our lives, let’s not forget to look back and celebrate our past triumphs, too. Let’s also use this holiday as an opportunity to remember and honor our departed loved ones. 

Usually, the empty chairs at the table may evoke feelings of sadness. But it doesn’t always have to be this way! By incorporating memorial traditions into your Thanksgiving celebration, you can receive comfort. At the same time, you can ensure that those who have passed away, whether the funeral services happened a week or years ago, are never forgotten. Let’s explore various ways to remember our departed loved ones on Thanksgiving.

 

Setting a Place at the Table

One meaningful way to remember departed loved ones on Thanksgiving is to set a place at the table in their honor. This tradition symbolizes that we choose to make them a part of the celebration, even if they are no longer with us physically. It’s a practice that may be very comforting, especially for those who have recently lost a loved one and are grappling to come to terms with it. To get this done, consider the following:

  • Use a special place setting: Designate a specific plate, utensils, and a glass for your departed loved one. You can also include a small photo frame with their picture.
  • Light a candle: Place a candle at their setting and light it during the meal. It is a beautiful reminder of their presence and the light they brought into your life.
  • Share a moment of silence: Before the meal begins, take a moment of silence to remember your loved one. Reflect on the happy memories and the impact they had on your life.

 

Creating a Memory Table

Visiting the cemetery is not the only way to remember your departed loved ones on Thanksgiving. Another touching way is by setting up a separate memory table. This can be a dedicated space where you display photographs, souvenirs, and other items that remind you of your loved one. Here’s how you can create a memory table:

  • Choose a location: Select a prominent location for the memory table in your dining area or living room.
  • Gather meaningful items: Collect photographs, letters, and items significant to your departed loved one. These could include their favorite book, a piece of jewelry, or a hobby-related item.
  • Arrange with care: Arrange the items on the table thoughtfully so they’ll look aesthetically pleasing. Use a tablecloth or runner to make it eye-catching.
  • Encourage sharing: Let your guests know that the memory table is there for them to explore and share their own memories or stories about your loved one. They can also contribute and bring in their own trinkets.

 

Sharing Stories and Memories

Many people associate Thanksgiving as a time for sharing and caring. So, what better way to remember your departed loved ones than by sharing stories and memories about them? Here’s how to incorporate this tradition into your celebration:

  • Storytelling circle: After the meal, gather everyone in a circle and invite each person to share a favorite memory or story about your departed loved one. This can be a heartwarming way to keep their memory alive and connect with your family members on a deeper level.
  • Memory jar: Place a jar on the table with small pieces of paper and pens. Encourage guests to write down memories or things they are grateful for regarding your loved one. You can read these notes aloud during dessert.
  • Create a scrapbook: Consider creating one dedicated to your departed loved one. Ask family members to contribute photos, letters, and anecdotes. This scrapbook can be a cherished keepsake and a way to ensure their memory lives on for generations.

 

Cook Their Favorite Dish

Food and festivities come together. So, it’s no surprise that food is central to Thanksgiving. Incorporating your departed loved one’s favorite dish into the meal can be a beautiful tribute. Whether it’s their famous stuffing recipe or a beloved dessert, cooking their favorite dish can evoke fond memories and create a sense of connection. As you prepare and enjoy the dish, you can share stories about why it was their favorite and the joy it brought them.

Thanksgiving is a time to express gratitude and cherish the presence of loved ones. While we may miss those who have passed, incorporating memorial traditions into the holiday can provide solace and help us keep their memory alive. These meaningful gestures ensure that our departed loved ones remain a part of our Thanksgiving celebrations. By embracing these traditions, we can find comfort in knowing that their love and legacy continue to be a cherished part of our lives, even if they’re absent. This Thanksgiving, let us remember and honor those we have lost with love and gratitude through meaningful traditions.

Compassionate Condolences: A Guide to Supporting Those Who Grieve

Grief is a deeply personal and often overwhelming experience. When someone we care about is facing the loss of a loved one, it can be challenging to know how to offer support. We may worry about saying the wrong thing or inadvertently causing them more pain. However, by approaching the situation with empathy and sensitivity, we can provide the comfort and solace our grieving friends or family members need. Let’s explore the proper etiquette for supporting someone who is grieving, so we can be there for them during their difficult time. Read more

How do I nurture my emotional well-being after the loss of a spouse?

Losing a person you shared formal vows with is one of life’s most challenging experiences. The death of a spouse is harsh because they are not only a life partner and source of companionship, but they offer emotional support. The many years spent together breed familiarity, so a spouse’s sudden absence can leave a profound void, causing feelings of loneliness and grief. It’s normal to feel emotional turmoil which can be very overwhelming.  Read more

How to Cope with Valentine’s When Your Partner Just Died?

Just when you’ve gone through the Christmas and New Year’s Eve holidays nursing a grieving heart, Valentine’s Day will stir up sad feelings and remind you of what you’ve lost all over again. Whether your partner just passed recently or it may have been years, it’s natural to miss the person, especially on something as poignant as Valentine’s Day, a holiday for love and lovers.  Read more

What are Good Memorial Gifts to Show Love and Support

Are you finding a way to comfort someone who has experienced loss? Are you wondering what you can do or say to that person whom you want to sympathize with? Of course, a heartfelt and well-written letter is always a good idea but there are also other ways wherein you can show your love and care to the bereaved after the cremation or funeral services Read more

How to Tell Your Kids Their Grandparent Died?

You may find it difficult to break the news to your children when one of your parents dies. The death of a grandparent is heartbreaking, to say the least, especially if Nana or Popo frequently babysits the kids. Your first instinct may be to sugarcoat your words to shield the kids from the pain of death. And that’s natural because, as much as possible, all parents want to protect their kids from the harsh realities of life. No one can fault you for wanting to make the loss more bearable. Read more

How to Plan a Meaningful Zoom Funeral?

Under normal conditions, planning a funeral is already a big responsibility that entails a lot of work. But what if you have to plan a virtual funeral for whatever reason like illness or military service? Of course, you want as many loved ones to be there and commemorate the deceased, even if only in spirit. It may seem like an impossible task to coordinate a virtual service, but it’s doable. Read more

How to Tell Your Kids Their Grandparent Died?

You may find it difficult to break the news to your children when one of your parents dies. The death of a grandparent is heartbreaking, to say the least, especially if Nana or Popo frequently babysits the kids. Your first instinct may be to sugarcoat your words to shield the kids from the pain of death. And that’s natural because, as much as possible, all parents want to protect their kids from the harsh realities of life. No one can fault you for wanting to make the loss more bearable. Read more