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Dealing with a loved one’s death is difficult. Celebrating the holidays after a loss can hold its own special challenges. Our family and friends add joy and warmth to regular  holiday celebrations, but when someone we love dies, holidays can feel quite different and overwhelming. It doesn’t mean our traditions and values die with them, but a time to adapt or keep their memory with us. All Holidays are an excellent time to celebrate, and every family celebrates differently. These coming days are a time to be with family and loved ones, a time for tradition and celebration. Whether it’s a traditional dinner or Christmas baking while wearing your favorite festive jammies. often a time of excitement and fun, it also holds a time for reflection and remembrance. The added weight of grief and loss during this time is hard. Here are some of our favourite ideas to keep your loved ones close while also celebrating a special days. 

 Keeping or Changing Traditions

The firsts after a death are always the hardest. And holidays will always have something missing.but that doesn’t mean we stop celebrating. nor does it mean that traditions have to stop.

Continue traditions

Continuing family traditions is a way to help cope and a way to remember the legacy left behind by your loved ones. Celebrate their Happiness through the holidays whether big or small.

Keep their memory going.

A few things you can do to remember our loved ones is keep their memory involved, bake their favourite holiday treat, put their stocking out, and have their favorite ornament on your tree. Wear her favorite apron while you cook with your grandkids. Keeping their memory close while you celebrate all the holiday has to offer. 

Say their Name

Bring them up  Talk about them. Share their stories. Remembering and acknowledging our loved ones during the holidays is a great way to keep their spirit alive. There’s an old saying that you die a second death when people stop speaking your name. My great grandmother a small polish lady used to bounce my dad on her knee and sing a little polish song, sometimes you catch my dad holding my son and muttering the same little polish song while bouncing Weston on his knee.

Start New traditions

Not all traditions can be continued. Especially if the person always held the big meals. So start new ones. Join someone else’s. It’s okay to change the way we celebrate when someone we love dies. So order take out. Have brunch instead.

four kids reading next to a christmas tree

Holiday Overload
While the holidays can be joyfully full of chaos. It can also be really overwhelming on top of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, the missing pieces of your family puzzle can leave you drained and a little lost. It’s  important to remember that you may need TIME. Time to recover, time to grieve and time to move forward without forcing anything you’re not ready to do. You might be ready to keep up your holiday traditions, or you might need to take a step back and heal more before you put yourself up to the challenge.In these times, it is essential to stay mindful. Everyone will be grieving or affected by the loss differently, so give people time if they need it. Above all else, do not force a new or existing tradition upon a family member or loved one if they are not ready. Skip events, stay home, do something smaller to celebrate if you or family is struggling to cope this holiday season.

Finding balance
Reminding ourselves that not everyone deals with things the way we do. It can be really hard to “celebrate’ when you’re grieving. Some people might want to talk about their loved one a lot, and others might not want to talk about it at all. While there isn’t a right answer to whether you should do one or the other; however, acknowledging that the loved one is no longer with you is a good start. If people want to talk and tell stories, then give them the opportunity too, go with the flow. If someone feels like sharing they will. If you want to share a story go ahead. Your willingness to share can tell your friends and family that it is ok to grieve and deal with death throughout the holidays. Still, it isn’t fair to focus solely on it, everybody grieves and heals in their own time. 

We are here for you
Dragonfly Advisory Services is always there to help. Whether it’s talking with one of our death doulas or accessing the number of resources provided on our site, we are there for you and your family.