Grief Series: Joy in the mourning “Seven ways to honor your grief”

One of my readers posted something she likes to do during the holidays that helps her acknowledge the life of her daughter who passed at nearly three months old. She or someone in her family wears her daughters’ hair clip attached to their shirt for family holiday photos. They also do art projects like ornament-making and always remember to make one for her. This is a beautiful way to honor someone and I wanted to share this with my readers. There are other ways as well and many of them just take a little forethought so don’t worry if you aren’t the type to create something. Read below for Seven ways to honor your grief:

1. Make a list of the losses you have experienced as a result of your loved one who is now gone.  Take an afternoon off if possible and allow yourself time to feel the loss. I recommend planning the afternoon to give yourself some special gift or pampering.  My list looks like this: Dad never got to see my kids go to kindergarten, play t-ball, ride their bikes, sing, act, play games, etc. and Dad never got to sing me sing opera. For more on taking an afternoon off see #3.

2. Write a poem about your loved one.    It doesn’t have to rhyme. It can be any style as long as it reflects your loved one in a way that honors them. If you have a grief-share group then ask to share it with them or else read it out loud for the benefit of your own ears.

3. Buy an ornament that represents a memory you have about your loved one. This is one of my favorites. Every year on December 11th I take the afternoon off to shop for a special ornament in memory of my dad. The ornament represent a specific memory or something I think he would like or enjoy. I also stop for my favorite coffee drink and take my time drinking it. I prepare my family ahead of time so they know that this day belongs to me. It’s a protected day and I rarely bring another family member with me because it’s kind of a date with Dad.

4. Make one scrapbook page for a memory book about your loved one. Attach photos, words, written memories, poems, and anything that is helpful in honoring their life. I recommend not compiling an entire memory book for the holidays unless you are a scrapbook pro and feel you can handle the project easily.

5. Set a place at the table for your loved one during one of your holiday meals.

6. Visit a place they liked to visit.  For me this means heading to a hardware store or a gem store. My dad liked fixing things and one of his hobbies was making jewelry from gems like opals and agates.

7. Write down their favorites and post them somewhere. What is their favorite color? Animal? Show? Author? Hobby? Singer? Sport? Joke? Add as many favorites as you wish. This is your page to post. Look for ways to incorporate their favorites into your life over the next few weeks.

My gift to you this holiday season is that this place become yours to temporarily set your grief. It will be safe here. Please let me know if you try any of these ideas or share if something not on the list has helped.

Much love,

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