Ways to memorialize your loved one around the holidays

The holiday season tends to heighten the loss of losing a loved one. This year things are very different, but the pain of losing a loved one is still there. It is good to lean on family members and friends for support no matter what stage of grief you are experiencing.

You can and will get through the holidays. Rather than ignoring or avoiding the feelings of grief, accept them. There are different ways to remember loved ones and acknowledge their presence during the holiday season. We have written a different ways to memorialize your loved one around the holidays, but there are many other ways to honor your loved one.

Create a New Family Tradition

Creating a new family tradition helps you move forward while still honoring your loved one. The idea of creating and actually doing a new tradition does help many in their grieving process.

Here are some samples of new family traditions you can do:

  • make Hanukkah themed cookies
  • watch a Hanukkah movie or listen to traditional or more contemporary Hanukkah music
  • make your loved one’s favorite dish (or find a new dish you’ve always wanted to make!)
  • sponsor a family in need (many non-profits, synagogues, departments stores etc have connections and sponsor programs).

A Prayer After the Lighting

Jewish teachings express that an opportune occasion to read a prayer is when the menorah’s light shines. Honor your loved one by reading aloud a personalized prayer in their memory after lighting your menorah. A quiet moment like this may bring intense emotions, but acknowledging your loss directly has shown to help many, especially during this difficult season.

Visit the Cemetery

The act of spending some time at your loved one’s final resting place often helps to feel more closely connected to your loved one. If you choose to visit a cemetery during this time of year, be sure to find adjusted cemetery hours and guidelines on the cemetery’s website.

Light a candle

Lighting a candle and keeping it lit plays an important role in the grieving process for many cultures across the globe. The glowing light of a candle represents life, and may help you memorialize your loved one. Find a place in your house to place the candle this year and years to come.

Write a letter

A great way to honor your loved one is writing a letter. Write to your loved one to express how you feel, include memories, let them know you are, share new happenings in your life, and more. Grief experts have proven writing to be very therapeutic and helpful in the grieving process.

Tell us!

There are many other ways you can memorialize a loved one during this time of year. Do what feels right for you and your family. Do you have plans to celebrate and honor your loved one? Share with us.

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(216) 340-1400
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Deanna Clingerman


Deanna Clingerman, MSSA, LSW is an aspiring funeral director/embalmer with a lifelong interest in funeral service. She holds degrees in Psychology and Sociology from Youngstown State University and Masters of Science in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University. After a rewarding career in Social Work, she attended Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science to realize her dream of becoming an embalmer and funeral director. She has worked in the Akron-Canton area for most of her funeral service career. She is the location manager and a funeral director for Cleveland Jewish Funerals.