Some may perceive the title of this article to mean it would be about a child’s first Christmas, Chanukah, or Kwanza. It is not, this is about the first holidays without your child after their passing.
My family just recently had our first Chanukah with part of our family missing. It was just about a year since my husband and I lost our daughter and our 2 sons lost their sister. I really was not sure how it was going to go. I knew I needed to keep my expectations low.
I also had to dig deep within myself to find the strength to even acknowledge that it was holiday time. I needed to do this for me and my family, especially her brothers.
Since the day that my daughter passed away, my family decided to try and celebrate her life and the time that we had with her. Chanukah for us is all about traditions and making memories. So, one of the things we decided to do was buy a new menorah.
We did this in her honor, to add to the collection of menorahs that we light each year. Her favorite color is pink, so we decided to buy this beautiful pink menorah. She would have loved it! I know when we did light it, all of us could picture the smile on her face.
One of the other traditions we have is to take a family photo on the last day of Chanukah. On the eighth day of Chanukah, we all gather around the fully lit menorahs for a family photo. So this first year, we made a new tradition. We decided to use a picture of her in the picture of us. My husband chose to use the throw blanket that we had made. It had a collection of pictures of her and her life.
Celebrating without her was hard to do but I pushed through and survived. I am glad that I did and now we will continue every year with adding new traditions in her memory and to celebrate her life.
If you or someone you know has had their child pass away this article may provide help.