My husband’s maternal grandfather passed away in March of 2007. He lived a full, happy life, going to be with the Lord and his beloved Madge at the age of 93. Even at his funeral, family and friends laughed at stories about his life more than we mourned his passing.
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the death of a loved one, we all need to grieve in our unique way. We need to process what the loss means to us and acknowledge our pain. To that end, one way to help do that over the holidays is to set up a tribute to the deceased loved one.
Our family has done this several times—for my or my husband’s grandparents. We covered a card table with a solid tablecloth and placed on this table items that reminded us of the vibrant lives of Papa Dee, Mama Madge, Nana and G.G. We enjoyed looking at photos of them in younger years and swapping stories about the way they had influenced us. Rather than ignoring their deaths and pretending like nothing had changed from the previous Christmas, we were able to respectfully acknowledge their special and significant influence on each of our lives.
My hope is that my children will do the same when I’m gone . . .