The holidays are a time of joy and celebration, of gratitude and introspection. They are also a time when the pain of losing loved ones intensifies. During the holidays, it is important for families to find a way to honor and remember their family members and close friends who have passed away, according to Parks Funeral Home in Summerville.
These remembrances keep the spirit and memory of the dearly departed alive and help grieving family members find comfort in their shared experience.
Funeral directors at Parks Funeral Home offer 6 ways your family can honor a loved one this holiday season:
1. Create a Family Memorial Ritual
A ritual is a practice that carries on over time. Around the holidays, most families have developed holiday rituals centered on the passing of loved ones. Following a loss, existing rituals can provide comfort after death as well as creating new ones formed over the holidays acknowledging their absence. This gives grieving families a chance to benefit from communal support and remembrance.
One way families can introduce a new ritual revolving around the loss of a loved one is to make an annual trip together to their burial site, do an activity together that the deceased enjoyed, or visit their favorite spot.
2. Share Stories Involving Them
One reason funerals are powerful rituals in our society is that they present an opportunity for family members and friends to relive happy memories involving the departed. This helps transform feelings of grief and somber loss to remembering and celebrating a life. This same celebration of life can be repeated during the holidays as family and friends gather and reminisce.
3. Toast to Their Memory
A toast is inherently admiring, especially when honoring someone who has passed. A toast raises awareness of a life once lived and softens the blow of their absence. Light-hearted or sincere, funny or serious—the tone doesn‘t matter as long as love is the focus.
4. Make a Gift of Their Belongings
It may be difficult to part with the belongings of one you have lost in the weeks and months following their death, but the holidays provide a perfect opportunity to share them with those who would love and cherish the gifts. Large or small, these gifts have meaning for those who receive them. Adding a note explaining the provenance of the item will increase its sentimental value further.
5. Cook Something They Loved
Or prepare one of their favorite recipes. Preparing a favorite recipe helps family members feel their presence and bond over the simple act of coming together and sharing a table and meal. Food affects all senses—the chance to talk, to reflect, to share memories—it can be therapeutic for grieving friends and family members.
6. Channel Their Best Attributes
Commit yourself, at least during those holiday celebrations, to emulate them in endearing ways. If the deceased was welcoming and friendly, remind yourself to greet those gathering with a smile on your face and in your heart, even if you do not feel up to it. If they doted on children or grandchildren, reach out to younger members in your group and shower them with extra affection. If they were a wonderful story-teller, repeat the stories and experiences that they told to those who may not have heard them before. Use their death as a reminder to act in ways to make them proud. Not only does it honor their memory, but it‘s a powerful validation of their importance in your life.
Since 1940, Parks Funeral Home has been proudly serving Lowcountry families. Their family-owned business is able to provide the comfort and experience needed to help loved ones get through a difficult time.
To pre-plan a funeral or arrange for a loved one, contact them at 843-873-3440 or visit them online at ParksFuneralHome.com.