After the loss of a loved one, family traditions can often be postponed due to grief and the uncertainty of facing these traditions with an absent loved one. At our funeral home, we believe in keeping family traditions alive to honor loved ones who have passed on. Although it is a difficult time, we have collected some tips on how to incorporate family traditions back into your family gatherings and to honor your loved ones while doing so.
Acknowledge the absence- Toast to your loved one or tell their favorite joke. Acknowledging the absence of your loved one will help to lighten the mood and instill a sense of togetherness in the room, which is likely what everyone needs at this time.
Be open to change- Family traditions may change following the loss of a loved one, maybe no one can cook quite like mom did, but that doesn’t mean your family needs to stop the tradition altogether. Have everyone bring one of mom’s favorite dishes for everyone to try, this way you’re honoring your loved one while keeping a family tradition alive.
Plan ahead- Prepare a new family tradition, or changes to an existing family tradition ahead of time. Communicate your plan with your loved ones and get them involved. This way your family can be prepared with the new “normal” of your family traditions. Being involved in family traditions can be therapeutic for family members to grieve as well as honor your loved one.
Share favorite memories- Sharing special memories of your loved one can bring everyone together and help to relieve the sadness of the first family gathering without them. Funny memories are great to share, and laughing together is good for everyone’s soul right now.
Honor their presence- While your loved one may not be physically there with you all, it is a profound gesture to honor them in some way. For example, during Christmas time, incorporate a small Christmas tree and have everyone decorate a personal ornament to put on it. This will help to make everyone feel your loved one’s presence with them during the holidays.
Donate to a charity- Did your loved one have a passion for animals? Make a new tradition to visit a local animal shelter, or make a donation in your loved one’s name.
We understand that traditions hold great value to families and continuing or starting new traditions can be a difficult task but we hope these ideas help make your healing process a little easier while honoring your loved one.