Thanksgiving is a time of being grateful for all that we have. But when a loved one has died, their absence leaves a void, especially the first Thanksgiving they are gone, but often for many years to come.
Honoring your loved one at your Thanksgiving gathering is an essential part of filling that void from their absence. One way to do this is through an activity we call "The Grateful Remembrance Jar." This activity is all about giving thanks for the time you shared with your loved one. This includes the lessons they’ve taught you, how they are still remembered on this earth, and so much more. By sharing these memories with your family and friends, you can remember and honor your loved one in a beautiful way.
Step 1: Find a jar, bowl or basket and gather some pens or markers.
Step 2: Cut slips of paper. You can use regular typing paper, decorative paper or card stock.
Step 3: Make a sign with instructions. This gives everyone that’s participating the opportunity to learn the goal of the activity and what they’ll be doing.
Step 4: Find the perfect spot to set up. This could be at the dining room table, in the living room, or even on the floor. Throughout the day, don’t forget to remind people to share a message of gratitude.
After everyone has had an opportunity to write their message, have a time of sharing. You might read the messages out loud to the group or simply set them out for everyone to read to themselves. Often this will lead to storytelling, laughter and sometimes, tears as you share memories and honor your loved one together.