The First Thanksgiving Without the One You Love

Posted on November 15, 2019 by Sytsema Funeral Home under Holidays
1 Comment

Here they come. The holidays! You can’t really ignore them, but they are going to be different because that special person in your life is no longer going to be sharing the day with you. So, what do you do?

First, acknowledge your loss and be aware that you need a plan. Thanksgiving isn’t just another day unless it has been just another day for you in the past. So, what will change? Losing someone you love always leaves an empty space in your life so how will Thanksgiving be different this year?

For some it may mean you no longer have a place to gather. For others it may mean no one knows how to cook the turkey, make the dressing, or smooth gravy. Maybe you lost the one who carved the bird or said the blessing.

Regardless, you need a plan. The time to deal with the loss of the gravy maker is not at the last minute when the turkey comes out of the oven. A sudden realization catching everyone off guard is likely to intensify and expand the feeling of loss and your day may fall apart entirely. Plan in advance and give the gravy job to another family member. Be prepared for a different sort of gravy. There may be lumps, it may come from a box, it might be better or worse, but it will all right.

If you are going to be alone this year, consider inviting others who don’t have family close at hand to join you. Make Thanksgiving a potluck. After all, that’s what the first Thanksgiving was…people sharing the bounty of the harvest.

This year be sure that you include some acknowledgement of the one who died in your plans for the day. Maybe you pull out the photo albums after dinner and just express your gratitude for the good days with your loved one. Maybe you include your thanks in the blessing before the meal, or have everyone share something special about your loved one as you gather around the table. Yes, it is difficult, but don’t forget to look for the positives. They are there, you just have to find them.

One Response to The First Thanksgiving Without the One You Love

  1. Avatar Carol says:

    This is not only the first Thanksgiving without my husband, but it when our lives went downhill. He had the fall that caused him the head injury without signs until Thanksgiving day he started having trouble & Thanksgiving was at our house & how he loved family around. He stayed in bed. So all the memories are flooding me and hitting our adult children and young grandchildren. We are struggling not to dwell on last year’s Thanksgiving but to make this one like the ones we loved when their dad was healthy. Don’t know if it is right way, but we are trying.
    My personal struggles are how differently our friends and family treat me. Many friends have just kinda forgotten me as have some family. Like they are afraid of death around me or especially to talk of my husband. Why do people do that?
    Why is most grief support for sudden death? What about the caregivers that have cared and then loss the loved one. It is a totally different grief and moving on.
    Sorry. wordy, but so much hitting me and going through my mind. Thank you

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