“It’s good to give thanks to the Lord!” I love that song. This Thanksgiving will be a different one for my family. My parents have both died and this will be our first Thanksgiving without them. Now there are only six of us. We are the ones left to celebrate the holiday. So how do you celebrate when you’re also feeling somewhat empty?
My sisters and I are making memory boxes of our parents. We saved personal items from their desk, fabric from clothing, ties from my dad, handwritten recipes, photos and other small knick-knacks. We’ll place these in some premade boxes and hopefully come up with an artistic remembrance. I know there will be much talk, tears, and laughter. We already use the phrasing “as Ilene” or “as Archie” would say or do. Their memories will still influence our lives and the lives of our children/grandchildren. My parents were special people who used their God-given gifts to help, care, support, accept and love their family members as well as the community-at-large. By making these memory boxes we will celebrate them as they now live on in our memories.
It is good to give thanks to my Lord! I thank God for the faith of my parents that lives on in me. They died well – as faith-filled and gracious in death as in life. This Thanksgiving I’ll celebrate their lives!
So how do you celebrate and give thanks when you’ve experienced a loss?
Diane Frederick, a churchwide executive board member, lives in Oak Park Heights, Minn.