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Honoring Our Lost Loved Ones on Grandparents Day

September 9th is “Grandparents Day” and there are so many different ways people celebrate!

Some families are lucky enough to have all the grandparents nearby and have great relationships with them (I envy you). Others might be spread across the country and maybe celebrate with a card or a facetime call. But what about when the grandparent you really wish you could celebrate with is no longer around?

My mom passed away over two years ago, when my son was only a few months old. We never got the chance to celebrate Grandparents Day with her. Luckily we were blessed with sharing my son’s first Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas with her and those are memories I will always cherish!

Luckily, my dad is still alive and well, but lives across the country in Oregon. He’s the best grandpa and we will probably give him a call on that day to let him know! My own grandma is still alive and only lives an hour away. We don’t visit as often as we should but going to see her on Grandparents Day would be a great treat! 

Honoring Our Lost Loved Ones on Grandparents Day - Columbia SC Moms Blog

How do you honor a Grandparent on Grandparents Day when they are no longer with you?

I’d say pretty much the same way you celebrate any other holiday without that person! In a nutshell, keep traditions alive, tell stories about that person, and maybe look at some photos … especially if you have a little one who might be too young to remember.

I try to honor my mom every day, in small ways. The way I parent my child, for one, is a big factor. So many things I do with him throughout the week are memories I hold on to from my own childhood. Simple things like going to the zoo or the library, or picking berries in the summer. These are all memories my mom took time to make with me, and doing the same things with my son helps me remember her every single day. I hope that one day when I’m gone he will cherish these memories as well!

My mom was over the moon about being a grandma. She was a grandma to my sister’s kids and loved every second of it … and she was GREAT at it. Mom was so excited to go on adventures with my son just like she did with my niece and nephew and myself when we were all small. It really kills me that she isn’t here to take him fun places and feed him too many sweets! For us, honoring our lost family members is not something that I do specifically on one day. It’s a regular thing. I may not bring up her name or talk about her as much as I could, but I strive to be half the mom to him as she was to me.

Honoring Our Lost Loved Ones on Grandparents Day - Columbia SC Moms Blog

This Grandparents Day, here are some ways you can honor lost loved ones:

  • Visit the place they were laid to rest and take some flowers or clean up the space around their headstone.
  • Do something fun that they would have enjoyed doing with you. Go to their favorite dessert place, see a movie, or have a picnic in the park.
  • Look through old photos and remember some of the fun times you had with them, or talk to your kids about the experiences those grandparents would have loved to share with them. I tell my son all the time about how much his grandma loved coming to the zoo with us, and how she would take him all the time if she was here!
  • Have your kids draw their grandparents a picture or write them a letter. Sometimes just getting thoughts out helps a lot when you are missing someone!
  • Visit with those that may also be grieving the loss of that grandparent. My sister is always someone I can cry or laugh with about the good times we had with my mom. If your loved one left a spouse behind, treat them extra special on this day! They are a grandparent too, after all.

Death and grief are a huge part of life, and I believe it’s important to teach our children about it. We have to show the future generation that even though terrible things happen, life is still something to smile about, and to cherish the memories that were made.  

I hope everyone has a happy Grandparents’ Day, no matter how you are celebrating! Remember to tell the grandparents you (and your children) still have how much they mean to you!!!

How do you celebrate the lives of those who are no longer around to celebrate with you? 

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