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Remembering a Loved One who has Passed at Thanksgiving


umsami
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This year's Thanksgiving dinner will be the first without my Dad and his brother...so I was trying to think of a way to acknowledge them.  

I think I can find a picture of them on the Appalachian trial many moons ago to put at the table, but was wondering if anybody had any other ideas.  

 

Thanks. )

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The first Thanksgiving after my dad died, we were all sort of morose. Then my mom said "Well, at least no one will be complaining that the food is cold!"  My dad was picky about having his hot food HOT and my mom worked hard to keep everything the right temperature for him.

That broke the ice and after that, we just started talking about him, sharing memories. Since there are 10 years between my older brother and me (there a sister smack in the middle), we all had different memories.

It was particularly good for my sister's kids, because after he died, she wouldn't really talk about him. She said it made her too sad. So her kids got to learn some new things about Grandpa. 

So, I would say, be prepared to share stories and memories. 

 

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Aw, I love that you want to do that.  I personally wouldn't be able to do much myself, because I'd end up blubbering and that would make it awkward and depressing for everyone.  BUT, I still love the idea of honoring a recently-passed loved one!  I'd probably hand the job over to the funniest person (in our family, my ds), and have him make a cheery toast over a glass of wine as we began our meal.

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We have incorporated favorite foods of that person, or other favorite tradition.  For example, my grandmother loved chocolate covered cherries, so we'll have those out. And/or, she made sweet potato pie when my mom was growing up, so my mom now makes it and brings it. 

If your family ever does a "what are you thankful for" thing, you could add a "what's your favorite memory of......." portion. Or, if you normally do a group family photo, have everyone wear something in the loved ones' favorite color(s). Or if they liked a favorite game, plan on time to play that between dinner & dessert. Something along those lines, maybe. 

Mainly, just giving people "permission" in a way to remember, grieve, share, feel their feelings......that's really all you need to do, and even just having the pictures out will do that. 

((hugs)) to you and your family, though; the first family gathering/holiday after a loss is always hard. 

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On the 30th it will be 3 years since my dad passed away. Our holidays are different now, my dad loved Christmas, the rest of us not so much. For Thanksgiving, we talk about him and just kind of quietly reflect. My mom doesn't want to have more guests for dinner, so it's generally just me, ds, and her. I just found out today that my former MIL is very ill, a very sudden onset, and possibly dying. Ds may end up going out of town with his dad to see her, so it will be just me and my mom. This morning, she wanted to talk about all the family deaths we've had in the fall - there are a great number over the years. 

Thanksgiving is always more somber now - more like I think Thanksgiving should be anyway - a reflection on what you're thankful for, thinking on the things you miss. 

So for us, it's be the recognition that it's different, we miss my dad, but we still have each other. 

 

 

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