November 23, 2015

Honoring a Loved One During the Holidays

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Winter lights in snow

The holiday season often brings painful reminders of loved ones we have lost. Recent or not, their absence may feel more significant when past traditions and memories seem to be everywhere. Here are several ideas others have found helpful in handling holiday grief and keeping memories of a loved one alive.

Honor their memory by cooking one of their favorite dishes, making a photo album or sharing favorite anecdotes with friends and family. Feeling as if a loved one is still part of the celebration can mitigate pain.

Start a new holiday tradition, especially if the loss feels very raw. For example, some find that taking a vacation, volunteering or simply changing the location for a gathering can help.

Donate to a charitable organization in a loved one’s honor. Giving to others in need while also honoring a special person is healing for many people. Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro’s (HPCG) Light Up A Life program and service is one such opportunity to remember someone in a meaningful way.

Seek counseling. Visit our Counseling and Education Center’s calendar to find upcoming support groups and workshops. These events are free of charge and open to the public. Grief can be unfamiliar and, at times, unexpected, so help is available.

Lastly, don’t feel guilty about celebrating. The holiday season can be a wonderful opportunity to cherish the people in our life and to honor those who have made lasting impressions on it.