Thanksgiving can be a difficult time of year for the grieving, especially those experiencing perinatal loss. Not only is it hard to feel grateful while bereaved, Thanksgiving is the kick-off of the kid-centric holiday season...which will look much different than we could ever have imagined.
If you wake up the morning of the holiday and would rather stay in bed, we say do so! If seeing family and friends is what you need, we encourage you to do so, but with boundaries! No matter how you end up acknowledging the holiday, there are still ways you can honor your baby and find gratitude alongside grief. This includes:
Purchasing a personalized candle to burn on the table during Thanksgiving dinner and other holidays throughout the upcoming year. When you light the candle, say a special prayer or give a message of thanks to your baby for choosing you to be their parent. Keep the candle burning throughout dinner and extinguish before bedtime.
Similarly, you can create a personalized plate with your baby's footprints or name to place at the table with you as you eat as a family. This plate can then be used throughout the year on special dates.
White pumpkins are a symbol for babies who have passed away and you will find them on front porches or dinner tablescapes throughout the fall season. We encourage you to include white pumpkins in your decor as a reminder of their love and spirit.
You can parent your baby and heal your heart through acts of service by volunteering at a food pantry or kitchen serving those experiencing food scarcity.
Take a family photo using keepsakes or framed photos! Many families use Molly Bears or other stuffed animals or photos of their baby to be included in private photos or annual family photos.
What is important to remember is, there is no right or wrong way to honor your baby. Sometimes what feels comforting one year may transition in to something different/better as the years go on. What make traditions special is that they are unique to each family...so there are no rules. Tell us, how do you honor your baby at Thanksgiving?