Start New Traditions by Honoring Loved Ones

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As the holiday season winds down, thoughts turn to the New Year, and with it the hope of what a new year can bring.


New Year’s Day is often the day chosen to reflect on the new and old. And, the new day and year can symbolize many different things. For some people, it can signify the hope of a fresh start. For others, this milestone can be a difficult or painful reminder of the loss of a loved one during the past year. Here are some ideas to help you remember and honor your loved one – and yourself.

Plan a special moment

Plan a special time or activity to reflect on your lost loved one on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. It may be helpful to engage family members and friends you trust to suggest ideas on ways to commemorate a loved one, as well as being of comfort to you. Ask for ideas that may help you engage in a community event or to participate in a charitable activity which you can dedicate to the memory of your loved one.

Focus on the positive

The emotional rollercoaster experience that is a natural part of the grief process is probably resulting in a confusing mix of happy and sad moments. Look for opportunities to feel good and participate in healthy activities that make you happy.

Help yourself by helping others

Sometimes helping others or even acknowledging happiness in others can may you feel better about your own loss. Experiencing someone’s joy about renewed possibilities in the New Year may inspire you. It is healthy and healing and ok to feel good for your friends and colleagues. If your friends have also experienced loss, spend time with them in person, by phone or send a thoughtful email or note.

Resolutions that heal

New Year’s resolutions can take many forms. Consider making the decision to enjoy each day. Make time for activities that interest you, or challenge yourself to learn and try new things, Resolve to live in the present and allow your life to unfold before you. Project positive energy and you will likely be surprised to watch it reflect right back at you.

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