Not everyone is given a chance to transition out of being confined or using hospice services. Some deaths are sudden and painful for their loved ones to cope with quickly. What happens to the ones who are left behind? Those who are left behind still have so much room for grieving after a sudden and unexpected loss. They might find it difficult to move on from what happened.
With the holidays, the reminder that their loved one isn’t with them can be more significant. Here is a holiday guide for those who have lost someone suddenly and painfully.
Include the Departed in the Table Setup
It may sound ridiculous for other people who have not been through this situation. But leaving a plate and chair empty in honor of the relative or loved one who died is a sentimental tribute to them. It can be a reminder of how the holidays were with them. If space permits it, create a shrine or memorial for the loved one during their birthday or the holiday season. This way, you will still have a semblance of connection to them.
Honor Their Memory through Meaningful Holiday Motif or Theme
For exchange gifts, you can commemorate the loved one by buying things that they liked. You can include them in the people participating in this holiday tradition. During the exchange, you can also include anecdotes about them. It is not the same as having the person around to celebrate. But at least, they are still fondly remembered despite the tears that might fall during this time.
Propose a Toast for Your Loved One
Clink the wine glasses together in honor of the departed. Offer a candle in the altar, depending on your faith. Have a moment of silence in front of the Christmas tree or during the fireworks display. Doing this can express the longing for your loved one.
Draw Strength from Each Other
If anything, the departed loved one will not want their family or friends on earth to remain in despair. Draw strength from each other in your common loss. Treasure each moment with your family and friends. Continue the traditions even when you don’t feel like it. The future generations, such as your kids and their cousins, can stay connected to their departed ancestors in the future.
Join a Group that Understands What You’re Going Through
Groups like GriefShare offer seminars on how to survive the holidays after the death of a loved one. If you cannot attend a physical workshop like this, there are also Facebook groups that cater to different types of grieving individuals. These groups could be for widows, people who lost both parents (also known as adult orphans), and people who lost their children or siblings.
Prepared or not, being one of the loved ones who are left behind by their departed family or friend is never a comfortable situation. Often, it takes a person a long time to get over it. The journey is slow, but that should not hinder anyone from traveling the path.