Remembering Loved Ones During the Holiday Season

There is no way around it - losing a loved one is always exceptionally hard around the holidays. Almost anything can trigger grief - traditions, events, parties, movies, etc. Denial and attempting to avoid triggers are possible coping mechanisms but keeping your loved one's memory alive is a different and positive approach.

Here are a few ways to remember a loved one during the holidays, and every day:

- Photos: Displaying old photo albums for holiday visitors can be a great way to remember your loved one. The photos could trigger fond memories so everyone reminisces and tells stories.

- Home Videos: Similar to photos, old home videos can help to trigger memories of a loved one. You and your guests may get emotional, but most find comfort in seeing the happiness and life of a loved one on the TV screen.

- Belongings: After a loss, it can be hard to part with your loved one's belongings. The holidays are about giving and present the perfect opportunity to gift an old treasure. The sentiment behind the gift can mean just as much as the item itself.

- Donate: Is there a charity that your loved one supported during their lifetime? During the holidays and always, charities truly appreciate your gift.

- Set A Place: Though your loved one is not with you physically, they are always with you in spirit. Set a place for them at dinner or buy a tiny chair as a representation to honor their presence. 

- Light a Candle: Light a candle or leave it burning on days where you think you'll miss your loved one the most. 

- Favorite Recipes: If your loved one has a favorite holiday recipe, remember them by making it this year! Family and friends will be able to enjoy the food and remember their loved one.

- Take Care of Yourself: The holidays can be a stressful time and if you are mourning a loss, they can be even tougher. Your loved one would have wanted you to get the support that you need, so do whatever it takes to ensure your physical and mental health are balanced. Spend time in a place where you feel close to your loved one. Spend time with people and share memories of them. Incorporating your loved one in your holiday celebrations is one of the best ways to honor their memory and keep it alive.