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The Christmas period can be particularly difficult when we are grieving the loss of a loved one. Irrelevant of when the loss had occurred, we may especially feel the absence of a family member, friend, or pet more strongly during the Christmas season. This is because our loved one may have been involved in our memories, Christmas traditions and family rituals around this period. There are various ways to honor and remember a lost loved one during the Christmas period, and families will often find their own creative way of doing so. However, I wished to share a few simple ideas of how to remember a loved one for anyone who may wish to introduce these ideas during the Christmas period.

  • Maintaining the traditions that your loved one was part of

This is a simple way of how to keep the memory of your loved one alive. For instance, if a grandfather enjoyed playing the guitar on Christmas day and singing Christmas songs to the family, a family member may wish to continue doing so. Maybe also play one of his favorite Christmas songs. Family traditions serve a very important function because they offer us with a familiar way to relate to one another, thus it is nice to maintain these traditions even after the person who started them or was most active in them is no longer with us.

  • Sharing the memories

Our memories of our loved ones may naturally come up while we are with our family. If you feel it is appropriate, give yourself the permission to share and mention these memories to others. You may also invite others to share their own memories or to add onto your own memories if they were also there with you for the event that you wished to recollect. You can also toast your loved one with your family.

  • Remembering your loved one through special decorations

You can be very creative with thinking of special decorations that are dedicated to your loved one. Some examples could involve having a small Christmas tree that is decorated with photos that bring back fond memories of your loved one, putting up a special Christmas tree ornament in your loved one’s favorite colour, buying a special candle dedicated to them and keep it lit during your Christmas day celebrations.

Rebecca Cassar is a Family Therapist practicing the Systemic Approach. She specializes in offering therapy to families, couples and individuals who are experiencing distress in their relationships. She can be contacted on rebecca@willingness.com.mt or call us on 79291817.