Did you recently lose one of your parents to death? The holidays and other family events may make grieving even harder. The following tips can aid in helping you to cope and comfort other family members as well as yourself.
Actively participate in keeping your parent’s memory alive.
There are a variety of ways to do this. Think of things that your deceased parent enjoyed participating in while they were living. For example, if they had a favorite charity, you could continue to make donations to the charity in honor of your parent. If a certain disease or condition contributed to their death, you could raise awareness by participating in state and local benefits or acquire memberships to these organizations for your family members.
Continue holiday traditions.
Your surviving parent may want to forgo holiday traditions. Offer the suggestion to other family members to turn the holidays into mini celebrations for your deceased parent. For example, if your family celebrates Thanksgiving and your dad normally carved the turkey, your family could have a moment of silence prior to carving the turkey in honor of your deceased father.
It may also help to bring out old photographs from previous years. Your family can use these to recollect past holidays and the fun times you all shared. Consider putting the photographs on a table and reference it as “the memory table.”
Refrain from being too opinionated about how other family members are coping.
People handle grief differently. Refrain from making statements such as, “You have got to get over this. You need to get out of the house and socialize.” Statements like these could cause others to feel as though there is something wrong with them for grieving in their own way.
Plan a family activity close to the annual anniversary of your parent’s death.
This is a way to start new traditions. You could choose to have a family dinner or cookout. You can also come up with unique ways to commemorate your parent’s life. You could release balloons with personal notes attached, print t-shirts with a photo of your parent and their birth and death date, or visit their gravesite to leave gifts such as flowers, figurines, and balloons.
The funeral services provider your family selected can be used as a resource for getting more tips on coping with grief. They may also be able to refer you to additional community resources such as grief counseling or support groups. Contact a representative from an establishment like Hitzeman Funeral Home, Ltd for further advice.