One of our cremations services is providing grief resources to the families we serve when they lose a loved one. Your grief begins as soon as your loved one dies. As you embark on a life without your loved one, you find that the transition does not happen overnight.
For example, you may find that it takes a while before you do not automatically think that you need to tell your loved one something that happened, or you need to ask their advice or be a sounding board when you have questions or need to discuss something.
In the beginning, the realization that your loved one is there to talk with can be jolting and sad. As time passes, you may find that your memories of talking over things with your loved one in the past help you know what they might say about the things that are happening in your life now. That can be comforting and reassuring.
However, whether your loved one has just died or has been dead for a while, you may find that you wrestle with fresh grief when the holidays roll around. That is because holidays are full of traditions and memories that bring the reminder that your loved one is gone back to the front of your mind.
All of the holiday traditions that your family had before your loved one died will bring a question: should you continue the tradition or start new traditions?
It really depends on the traditions and your ability to do them and your level of comfort doing them.
For example, if traveling with your loved one during the holidays was one of your traditions, then they are not there to go with you. Traveling by yourself during the holidays may intensify your grief and traveling with someone else may feel awkward or wrong to you.
However, many family holiday traditions are so important and have such value to your entire family that you will want to continue some version of them. This can be comforting, as it reminds you all of good memories with your loved one.
It also gives you an opportunity to add new things to pay honor to and remember your loved one during the holiday season.
For example, if your loved one was a great cook and made special dishes that they served only during the holidays, you and your family might want to take their recipes and have everyone contribute one of the dishes to a holiday meal or send them – if they were desserts or pastries – in a care package to the rest of the family.
If doing special projects with your loved one was a holiday tradition, you may want to do something that echoes that creativity during the holiday season as a tribute. You may want to do something artistic or you may want to construct or build something in honor of them.
One thing that you should realize is that some of your other family members may not keep these traditions in their holidays. For example, you may find that one of your children or your siblings makes a special holiday dish or dessert any time of the year, and there is nothing about that dish or dessert that reminds them of your loved one.
While this can be upsetting to you, it’s important to remember that each family member may a different significant holiday tradition than you do that reminds them of your loved one. In the end, there is room for all of them.
Access to grief resources is one of the cremations services we offer, so you can depend on our compassionate and experienced team at Hopler & Eschbach Funeral Home to help you.