It’s that time of year again when we look back at the past year, reflect on what we’ve learned and experienced, and create resolutions or set goals for ourselves to strive towards in the new year. As we do so, we remember loved ones who have passed away and wish that they could be with us to celebrate this time of New Year festivities as well. Here are three ways to honor your child in the new year, no matter what form your remembrance takes.
Honor their memory
This can mean anything from putting up an urn with their picture on it or lighting candles in their memory. Do whatever feels right for you. This is an important step since grief and loss can easily slip into guilt and anger, which is never healthy.
Honor your child by taking care of yourself as well as you possibly can, and doing something every day that will allow you to keep them close in your heart. Often parents will feel guilty about making resolutions because they think it’s somehow disrespecting their child who has passed on, but that’s far from true.
Parents who are struggling with loss often don’t have room to remember dreams and goals; honoring the loss of your child through daily resolutions can help turn things around.
Honor their spirit
This is, in some ways, easier said than done. But do take out time for an activity that you know your child will enjoy. This can be as simple as looking at old photos together or taking a walk through a place that was special to them.
Some parents even choose to take an annual trip somewhere their child loved (or was planning on visiting). Either way, connecting with and honoring your loved one’s spirit is crucial in healing after loss. In fact, it may be necessary if you want to live your own life again.
Honor their love of life
When you’re grieving, it’s easy to forget that there was once an abundance of life in your child’s eyes. But if you can look back at their photos from happier times, those moments will help you stay positive and keep your loved one alive in your heart.
You can find such pictures if you look for them on your phone and you can even ask close friends or family members if they have photos they can share with you of fun times they got to spend with your child.
In both cases, making a tangible photo album is often helpful—even if you don’t open it every day. When done right, some researchers say it may even make it easier for survivors to cope with grief over time.
If you’ve lost a child in 2021, remember that you are not alone. And if you’re celebrating holidays with family and friends, take time to acknowledge your loss. If you think your spouse would enjoy a curated box such as those from Laurelbox to honor your child’s memory, it may be helpful to start a tradition each year to gift them a box as a way to remember your child together.
We hope these three steps to honor your child help you find peace and healing as we ring in another New Year.