The holiday season is upon us…

For those who have lost a loved one, it can bring a mixture of emotions. Grief may be felt day-by-day or moment-by-moment. Traditions bind families together for generations. Many families may cling to traditions both big and small after the death of a loved one. Some families find solace in old traditions, and others find comfort in adopting new ones.

Tradition can determine how we experience the holidays. It can help us find comfort in the midst of sorrow.


Holidays at The WARM Place are filled with traditions – meaningful and lasting ways to remember loved ones and celebrate the season.

Our tradition starts with a family dinner. It has been the tradition of TWP to begin each group with a pot luck dinner. Families sit, eat together, and fellowship with one another at the beginning of every group night. In November, our groups enjoy having turkey for the main course of the meal. Families are encouraged to bring side dishes, and our volunteer facilitators bring the desserts. This is a real treat since we do not typically serve dessert on group nights! This is a fun family feast, and everyone enjoys having a holiday meal.

Another tradition we have is planning a special family activity during the holidays. This year, WARM Place families created a work of art together. This special craft allowed families to work together to create a new memory and a piece of art for their home that showed appreciation and love for one another! Take a look at some of the beautiful art pieces!

We also love making the house festive during this time of year! We add lights outside and decorations inside to make it feel extra warm and cozy. Special thanks to the Christmas Company LLC for donating our outside lights!

One of our oldest traditions is our Remembrance Ceremony done every year during the holiday season. At the end of each group night, families and volunteers light candles in memory of their loved ones and gather in a circle outside for a time of remembrance. Volunteers take turns reciting the lines of the poem below, and everyone responds in unison “We Remember Them.” At the end of the recitation, everyone has the opportunity to say the name of their loved one who died. It is a wonderful time of reflection and memory.

 

WE REMEMBER THEM

By: Sylvan Kamens & Rabbi Jack Riemer

At the rising of the sun and at its going down,

We remember them.

At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter,

We remember them.

At the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring,

We remember them.

At the shining of the sun and in the warmth of summer,

We remember them.

At the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of autumn,

We remember them.

At the beginning of the year and at its end,

We remember them.

As long as we live, they too will live; for they are now a part of us, as

We remember them.

When we are weary and in need of strength,

We remember them.

When we are lost and sick at heart,

We remember them.

When we have joy, we crave to share,

We remember them.

When we have decisions that are difficult to make,

We remember them.

When we have achievements that are based on theirs,

We remember them.

As long as we live, they too will live; for they are now a part of us, as

We remember them.

 

This year we are adding a new tradition! For two weeks in December, several restaurants, organizations, and individuals are providing dinner for our group night potluck. This generous gift provides families a night off from making or picking up a dish for the potluck. Thank you to these donors for making this possible: Lester Reed, Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken – Fort Worth, Jason’s Deli, Frost, Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial, and Chuy’s.


Whether you choose to make new traditions this year or keep the old ones, may you and your family find meaning and purpose in tradition this holiday season.