Grieving Families Remember and Include Their Child in a special way during the holidays

“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having in spirit, become a child again at Christmas time.” 

Laura Ingalls Wilder

Christmas is for children…and for those who can become childlike in their hope and faith and joy. So it can be a truly difficult time for those who have lost a child. The little one is present in their absence at this time of year, perhaps more than at any other time. We checked in with some of our Buzzy’s Bees families to ask how they include their child in the activities of the season.

We include Gio in our holiday traditions as much as possible. For Christmas, we hang his stocking up and his ornaments.  We always light a candle for him on Christmas Eve and say a prayer that he is at peace with God, and that he knows we will continue to love him for eternity until we meet again. We talk a lot about our memories of him and what we think he’d be like today.  We purchase gifts for him as we normally would; we just donate those gifts in his honor to other children! Last year we did this at Randall Children’s Hospital and this year we will donate to needy families in our community. Holidays are bittersweet, for sure. For us, it’s important to spend time honoring him through our love and reflection on who he was and what we enjoyed about him, while at the same time making new memories as a family in his honor. Gio was such a happy, sweet boy. Kindness and wonder radiated from him to all who knew him even from the time he was an infant. When we feel joy, he is always there in spirit, smiling with us. He’s an inspiration in everything good that we do for others.  –

Jennifer Bischoff

Our family collects bee/angel ornaments. We always visit Hudson in the dark after the 4:00 pm Christmas Eve service. This is when we place a mini angel on top of his mini tree. We then sing “O Holy Night” as a family by his grave. We try to choose a child the same age as he would be (6 this year) to buy a Christmas gift for. We do all this and to me there is still a bitter undertone to the holidays. I wish they could be filled by his physical presence.

– Amanda Drews

I feel like we do quite a bit. We are still doing baskets in his memory. And we handed out candy canes last week, for a random act of kindness.  Plus, we put up his stocking and put out his Christmas Eve box. We put up the ornaments he made, and we buy a new ornament for him every year. Every year I also find a little boy around what age Aiden would be and buy him a few presents. We still find some way to include him in our Christmas photos. And then we usually end up talking about him at Christmas dinner and how we miss him.

– Alex Causey

Thank you for sharing your traditions and how you include your little angels in your celebration, Jenny, Amanda, and Alex. A common experience of each of these families is that they share their love in gifts of service. And each child is remembered and included in a special way during the holidays. For those who grieve there is never a day or occasion that goes by without thinking of their beloved.

Our hearts are with you all at this time of year and always.