How Grieving Parents Can Honor the Memory of Their Child During the Holidays


Holidays and Grieving

Every year at Christmas I struggle with my emotions.  This would have been my son David’s fifth Christmas.  He would have loved everything about Christmas. The wonder of the Christmas lights on the tree at night. The Christmas songs we sing at church. The festive decorations in the stores.  His joy would have been contagious.

However, I have been robbed of that joy of experiencing it, because my son David only lived a few short hours before he passed away in my husband’s arms.

Thought he may be gone, he is not forgotten.  His siblings honor him every year by hanging up his stocking. My husband puts up the few Christmas ornaments we have for him. We sit around and talk about him, and a favorite topic of conversation is “What would David be doing now?”

Honoring the Memory

I have a friend who had lost her one month old daughter on Christmas Eve over forty years ago. Back in the 70’s you did not grieve publicly over the loss of a child. Grief was meant to be private and unspoken. She did not grieve as I did.  Our experiences were different.

After I lost my son David, I was given a painted wood plaque with David’s name on it. It was also engraved with Scripture from Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.”

When I was telling my friend about this special plaque I had received she said only had one picture of her daughter. Nothing else. Within a week, I had ordered a plaque for her and was able to give it to her in person.

It meant the world to her. Nobody had ever honored her child before.It was an honor to help honor the memory of her beloved daughter.



There are certain times when grief seems to be harder to deal with than others.

Holidays and birthdays are two of the most difficult times for grieving parents. So what can grieving parents do to help honor the memory of their child?

How to Honor the Memory of Your Child During the Holidays

  1. Buy an personalized ornament or stocking.
  2. Light a candle. Have a special candle that you only use during the holidays.
  3. Have a “What would ___________ be doing now conversation?” with your family.  My children love to tell stories about what they think David would be doing at the moment.
  4. Listen to music that reminds your family of your child.
  5. Donate money in their name to a charity of cause you’re family supports.
  6. Buy your children a present in honor of your deceased child.
  7. Look at pictures together, cry, talk, laugh. Just be in the moment (together).
  8. Pray together. Thank God for the opportunity to have had that child.
  9. Take a holiday photo of your children holding their siblings picture.
  10. Do something in honor of that child for the day.
  11. Buy memorial jewelry with your child’s birthstone.
  12. Invest in a memorial plaque with your child’s name and Scripture.



Stephanie Malcolm,

Training Keepers of the Home.



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