Twenty Ways to Cope with Grief and Loss at Thanksgiving

By: Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services
Sunday, November 18, 2018

Thanksgiving is traditionally a time to express gratitude for our many blessings.

But that can be hard to do when someone you love has passed away. Regardless of when the loss occurred, we often feel the absence of a beloved family member, friend or pet more keenly during the Thanksgiving holiday because our fondest memories, traditions and rituals involve him or her. Here are 20 ideas to help you honor and remember your deceased loved one and find some peace this Thanksgiving:

1.     Leave an empty chair and place setting at your holiday table in remembrance of your loved one. If this gesture is too emotionally challenging, forego setting out plates and silverware and simply place the empty chair off to the side.

2.     Make your departed loved one’s favorite dish. From green bean casseroles to sweet potato pie, there’s probably that one special dish that reminds you of your loved one who has passed. Whether they made it themselves or just really enjoyed a particular side item, whip up a batch for your Thanksgiving meal. Consider making recipe cards for the dish and passing them out to your guests as a keepsake.

3.     As you and your family sit down to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner, say a prayer for your loved one and thank God for his or her presence in your life. As an alternative, you could have a moment of silence in honor of your loved one’s memory.

4.     Offer a special toast to celebrate the departed. Raise your glasses and rejoice in your cherished memories.  

5.     Many families go around the Thanksgiving dinner table and express what they are each grateful for. This year, share a memory about your loved that you’ve always appreciated. Was there something they always did that’s forever etched in your mind? A fond memory you’ll never forget? Share those thoughts with your family and allow everyone to reflect on the impact your loved one had on them.

6.     Donate food or an entire meal to someone who might otherwise go hungry this Thanksgiving, or make a financial contribution to an organization that feeds those in need.

7.     If you’re hosting the holiday festivities, light a special candle next to a favorite photograph of your loved one as a quiet reminder of his or her presence in your heart and mind.

8.     Create a tribute video from your favorite photographs of your beloved, set it to music and share it with your guests after dinner.

9.     The long Thanksgiving holiday weekend provides a great opportunity to clean out closets or dressers and donate your gently used clothing in your loved one's memory. Jackets, coats, gloves, scarves, hats and blankets can be particularly helpful to the needy as the colder weather approaches.

10.  Attend a remembrance service. Churches and other places of worship often hold remembrance services on or around Thanksgiving because the holidays are so challenging for surviving loved ones. These special services usually incorporate music, inspirational and/or religious readings, and other special moments to help mourners honor their departed loved ones.

11.  Participate in a community fundraising event. Many community organizations hold various fundraising events during Thanksgiving weekend such as walk/runs, charity dinners and more. Try to find an event that’s raising funds for a cause your loved one supported to make it especially meaningful.

12.  Visit your loved one's gravesite or the place where you scattered the cremated remains.  Leave flowers or a memento to signify his or her eternal presence in your heart and mind. 

13.  After your holiday meal, watch your loved one's favorite movie with your family members and friends.

14.  If you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner, ask your guests to bring a small memento, favorite photograph or personal note they can place on a charming memory table you set up in your loved one's honor.

15.  Take a road trip and spend the long holiday weekend in your beloved's favorite location or somewhere meaningful, attend his or her favorite sporting or recreational event, or simply perform an activity that the two of you enjoyed together.

16.  Make a memorial wreath to hang on your front door or above the mantle by adding ornaments, decorations and/or photographs of your loved one to a real or artificial wreath.

17.  Create a musical playlist of your loved one’s favorite songs. Play it in the background during your dinner preparations and encourage your family and friends to sing along.

18.  The centerpiece is an important part of any Thanksgiving meal. This year, pay tribute to your loved one by incorporating their favorite vase, flowers, greenery or personal keepsakes.

19.  Did your loved one have a favorite book? Purchase copies of it to give to your family and friends at Thanksgiving. Consider purchasing a few extra copies to donate to a local library or school. 

20.  Start a new family tradition. Was your loved one a competitive Scrabble player? Did he or she have a favorite scripture reading? Choose something your loved one enjoyed and make it a part of your new Thanksgiving tradition.

Thanksgiving is the season to be grateful. Allow yourself to enjoy your blessings, including the fact that your loved one was a part of your life. If you’re grieving the death of a loved one and need additional resources or information, please reach out to our supportive team. We’re always happy to help.

About Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services: As a leading African American-owned and operated funeral and cremation organization serving  three states, Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services has provided a ministry of care to thousands of grieving families. We promise to provide our highest level of distinguished service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved one. In all aspects of the funeral process, we strive to be the absolute best and are honored to help preserve our clients’ legacies for future generations.  For more information, please call us at 215-549-4700 or visit us online at www.batchelorbrothers.com.

 

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

Follow these Funeral Planning Tips to Make Your Time of Need Easier

Losing a loved one is undeniably difficult. If you are also responsible for making the funeral arrangements at this challenging time, it can feel overwhelming. Numerous decisions must be made qui...

Living with Loss: Do You Know What to Expect After the Funeral?

It takes time to adjust to the loss of a loved one. Once the funeral is over, you may feel as if you're left without any type of road map. Just as your funeral provider and funeral director guide...

Five Helpful New Year’s Resolutions for the Bereaved

On January 1, the New Year rolls around whether or not we are ready for it. If you are adjusting to life without a loved one, you may feel as if you want to skip making New Year’s resolutions. Howe...

The Must-Have Guide to Parenting through Grief

There’s nothing quite like the journey through loss. It can trigger an onslaught of emotions that impact the ability to parent with a level head. Profound sadness and stress may diminish patience...

Do You Know the Most Important Financial Actions to Take When a Loved One Passes Away?

Dealing with the loss of a loved one is undeniably stressful. Trying to determine how to handle their finances and legal obligations can put an additional burden on you and your family at a difficu...

Siblings and Grief: Five Ways to Heal After Loss

They are our first playmates, rivals, and friends. Siblings enjoy a unique relationship that cannot be duplicated. Losing a sibling can be devastating yet this grief is often overshadowed in our ...

Grieving a Loved One During Thanksgiving? Try These Six Tips for Healing

Thanksgiving is a time to show gratitude for our many blessings. But for the bereaved, holidays can arouse feelings of grief even if the loss was some time ago. If you find yourself feeling down ...

Get the Facts about Veterans’ Burial Benefits

Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services is proud to serve the military veterans in our community. The funeral benefits available through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are many and varied...

Affordable, Creative Ways to Personalize a Funeral Service

When grieving, you want to focus on personalization, not expenses.   You may worry that you’ll need to spend more than you’ve budgeted in order to properly honor your loved one. The good news...

How to Have a Safe Celebration of Life: Creative Ways to Honor Your Loved One

You want to honor your loved one during this time of physical separation, but how can you do it safely? A celebration of life, also known as a remembrance celebration, is a memorial service that ...