Over the course of this last year, milestones were uniquely celebrated. Many gatherings were held virtually or in a drive-thru format. (Even The WARM Place hosted Drive-thru Family Nights!) Some households were forced to isolate from others for periods of time, and events were rescheduled. Though our world has had to be inventive with ways to celebrate and identify milestones during this time, this does not eliminate or change the grief one may be experiencing.
When you think about a special occasion, such as a wedding, graduation, birthday party, or even family vacation traditions, some would view these events with excitement and anticipation. However, these milestones can bring on emotions that can make celebrating difficult if you are grieving.
Though our world has evolved and changed to celebrate milestones safely, grief lingers through these changes. Even if we are not able to avoid or control certain celebrations while in the midst of grief, we can determine our role in the celebration or ways to include their loved one they are grieving.
There are different ways to incorporate loved ones during significant milestones and events. You could wear an article of clothing or jewelry your loved one used to wear, display a picture of your loved one, or include a favorite tradition of your loved one to include their memory during the milestone being celebrated.
There is not a right or wrong way to celebrate milestones as you grieve. It is ultimately up to each family and the comfort level based on each milestone or event.
Even as our world begins to slowly change back to a more ‘normal,’ it is still important to give yourself permission to grieve in a way that is unique to your needs. This can promote self-compassion and may allow less expectations or pressure as family milestones approach. You may find that this may also create lasting support to meeting your needs as a family without the pressure to grieve the way others suggest you or your family should.
No two events will feel or look the same but listening to your needs and your child’s grief needs will be essential in order to equip your family with the necessary tools to process through and feel more in control of memorable moments while grieving.