Dear Auntie: I lost my dad some years back around the holidays. I try to go hang out with my mom and siblings. It’s not the same. We should probably just eat frozen dinners. We are losing our traditions. I’m the middle child so nobody listens to me anyways. Is there a way I can introduce other things to do without being disrespectful to my dad? We aren’t able to leave the house as freely due to the pandemic anyways. I just want to get through the holidays before we start being weird and estranged again. It may not mean anything anymore to them but it means everything to me.
Andrew from Lincoln, NE
Dear Andrew: Offering condolences and a virtual hug during this pandemic. The latter offers us a sense of hopelessness and helplessness. The only thing you can really do to help yourself heal is to continue to honor your father. You don’t need a holiday or the rest of your family to privately or publicly acknowledge and pay homage to your father.
Perhaps in your area there are things you can do. Plan those activities for yourself or your siblings individually. Maybe start a tradition where you all take 5 minutes to remember things your father said and did. This doesn’t have to take place on a holiday or even in your parents home. You could try to have a toast to your dad or movie night as a family. You could host it at your place. You would be surprised how relieved family members are when they don’t have to plan or cook. We honor the deceased by living abundantly. We honor them by remembering who they were and how that shaped who you are. Give your siblings and mom a rest from the kitchen and eat those frozen dinners. It doesn’t matter where you are. If you are with family that is always home. If the holidays are hard for you because you father passed, try to cherish more moments with your mom and family. Don’t bicker or worry about anything else but who is going to have the best food and nap afterwords.
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